The Commission calls on member states to improve training and support for teachers

The European Commission published a report that compiles the latest information on teachers and school leaders, from pre-primary to post-secondary education in the EU, including data on age, gender, working hours and salaries. In the light of the report results, Androulla Vassiliou, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth stated that all member states should improve training and support for teachers.

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MEPs amended the youth guarantee proposal to extend this measure to young people under 30

The Employment and Social Affairs Committee adopted an amended proposal on the EU Youth Employment Initiative which extends this measure to young people under 30. Also, MEPs adopted that regions that had youth unemployment rates above 20% in 2012 would be eligible for Youth Employment Initiative help.

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Permanent Representatives Committee of the Council agreed to a recommendation establishing youth guarantee schemes

The Council recommendation that aims to ensure that all young people under the age of 25 who lose their job or do not find work after leaving education quickly receive a good-quality offer of employment, continued education, an apprenticeship or a traineeship, the so-called "youth guarantee" schemes, was approved by the Permanent Representatives Committee.

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A report shows that education budgets in member states are under pressure

The European Commission presented a report which shows that cuts of more than 5% were imposed in Greece, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania and Portugal, while Estonia, Poland, Spain and the UK (Scotland) education's budgets saw decreases of 1 to 5% in 2010. The cuts have also resulted in reductions in the number of teaching staff in 10 member states: Bulgaria, Cyprus, Estonia, France, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Portugal, Romania and UK.

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President of the CoR stressed that EU funds must be far better targeted to match the needs of Europe's key growth sectors

The President of the Committee of the Regions (CoR), Ramón Luis Valcárcel Siso, highlighted during a conference held in Dublin that it is extremely important to involve local and regional authorities in delivering the new "Youth Guarantee" scheme to answer to the youth unemployment challenge. He also pointed out that cities and regions are key to creating workforce that meets needs of labour market.

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The Youth Guarantee proposal moves forward following Council agreement

The European Commission welcomed the political agreement reached on the proposed Youth Guarantee Recommendation at the EU's Council of Employment and Social Affairs Ministers on 28th February. The Youth Guarantee implies that member states should put in place measures to ensure that young people up to age 25 receive a good quality offer of employment, continued education, an apprenticeship or a traineeship within four months of leaving school or becoming unemployed.

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Eurostat figures warn that children are at greater risk of poverty or social exclusion than the rest of the population in …

According to Eurostat, in 2011, 27% of children aged less than 18 were at risk of poverty or social exclusion in the EU, compared with 24% of adults (aged 18-64) and 21% of the elderly (aged 65 and over). Data by member state shows that the highest shares of those aged less than 18 who were at risk of poverty or social exclusion in 2011 were registered in Bulgaria, Romania, Latvia, Hungary and Ireland.

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The new Social Investment Package was presented by the European Commission

The Communication on Social Investment for Growth and Cohesion calls on member states to prioritise social investment and to modernise their welfare states. The Social Investment Package includes a Commission Recommendation against child poverty, calling for an integrated approach to child-friendly social investment.

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The Council invited member states to restructure their education systems

EU Education Ministers met on 15 February to discuss relevant issues concerning education in the context of the 2013 Annual Growth Survey. In response to the recent Commission communication "Rethinking Education", the Council invited member states to restructure their education systems, for instance creating closer links to labour market. The Council also stressed that there are areas of divergence with the European Parliament's position regarding the proposal for a regulation establishing "Erasmus for all".

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29 companies are taking part in a self-regulatory exercise to make the internet a better and safer place for kids

The European Commission presented the results of joint commitments from media, technology, telecoms and online companies to make the internet a better and safer place for kids. Among others, all devices (including smartphones, tablets, computers and games consoles) could be equipped with parental control tools and screens with simple tools for users to report harmful content and contact.

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New public consultation launched on schemes for Milk and Fruit distribution in schools

The European Commission launched a public consultation on the review of two programmes, the European School Milk Scheme and School Fruit Scheme, respectively providing dairy products and fruits and vegetables to children in schools. The consultation will run until 22 April 2013.

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Commission launched a call to action to close digital skills and jobs gap in the EU

The European Commission launched a call to action to companies, governments, educators, social partners, employment service providers and civil society to "turn the tide". Young Europeans should have the tools to enter digital careers or to create jobs as entrepreneurs. In particular, the Commission will collect pledges on new jobs, internships, training places, start-up funding, free online university courses and more.

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