Eurobarometer is a Europe wide public opinion survey that has been conducted since 1973 to monitor views on issues such as: social situation, health, culture, defence and so forth.
Occasionally, special surveys are also launched for more detailed analysis on a specific subject or topic.
Earlier this year, a special Eurobarometer survey was conducted on the question of “European area of Skills and Competencies”, a public consultation has recently been finished (view summary of consultation results here).
The report that summarises the main findings from the Eurobarometer survey was launched in June. The backdrop for the report are the recent developments of introducing instruments for transparency and recognition of qualifications, in essence the construction of the European Area of Skills and Competencies.
The themes in the survey include skills obtained in education and training, attitudes towards various aspects of education and training, studying abroad, documentation of skills and qualifications and flexible learning pathways, career guidance an the extent to which citizens seek for information on these issues.
Regarding the skills obtained, most view basic skills as most important, with some socio-demographic differences – the higher the level of education, the more likely people are to value specialized skills. Younger people are also likely to view foreign languages as more important, but this is also most widely considered a skill that can be obtained outside of formal education. Furthermore, the better educated people are, the more likely they are to think that languages can be learned outside of formal education. Workplace was considered by most as the arena to obtain skills outside of formal education.