14 May 2012
Benchmarking employability of young graduates
A new European benchmark on the employability of young graduates, developed by the JRC in collaboration with the Directorate General for Education and Culture, was adopted by the Council of the European Union on 11 May 2012. This benchmark will be the reference level of European average performance on the share of employed graduates from education and training and will help monitoring progress towards the targets set by the Europe 2020 strategy .
Based on the proposal presented by the Commission in May 2011, the Council agreed that by 2020, the share of employed among the graduates 34 year olds having left education and training no more than three years before the reference year should be at least 82 as compared to 76.5 in 2010. This target level refers to an EU average and does not constitute a national target for individual Member States.
Employability - that is, the combination of factors which enable individuals to progress towards or enter employment, to stay in employment and to progress during their career - is a complex concept, involving not only each individual's characteristics, skills, attitudes and motivation, but also other external factors which lie beyond the scope of education and training policy, such as labour market regulations, demography, the structure of the economy and the overall economic situation.
Since 2010 researchers of the JRC's Centre for Research on Lifelong Learning CRELL have developed the conceptual and methodological frameworks defining the present benchmark. They have also been evaluating the role played by specific education and training policies in explaining within country and cross country variations in its value.
The European benchmark for education and training for employability complements those already adopted in May 2009 and the one on learning mobility adopted in November 2011 and will be examined by Member States and the Commission in 2014 as part of the Education and Training 2020 ET 2020 the strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training in order to decide whether a revision of the indicators is needed.
Press release: Council conclusions on the employability of graduates from education and training