Employability Alliance

European Alliance on Skills for Employability


As global organisations operating across the European Union; Microsoft, State Street, Adecco Group and Cisco share a strong commitment to support the EU Growth and Jobs agenda by building partnerships to facilitate the provision of skills training for employability.

The European Alliance on Skills for Employability was launched in January 2006 to help bring access to IT, technical and other employability related skills to people from disadvantaged groups, thus contributing to build the foundations of employability and inclusion in Europe.


José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission (5th from left), with the founding members of the European  Alliance on Skills for Employability, in January 2006. 

The Alliance will invest resources to:

  • Help provide Europeans with technology access, training and certification in IT and other skills required by current or future employers over the coming five years.
  • Focus on young, under- and unemployed and older at-risk workers with lower employability prospects, people with disabilities, women (re)entering the job market and minorities.
  • Build upon and expand our core competencies and our existing education, training and community programmes in Europe.
  • Foster synergies between existing programmes with the aim to deliver better employability opportunities and a more positive impact to training beneficiaries.
  • Set up or extend existing multi-stakeholder partnerships to enhance cooperation of all three sectors (private companies, government and non-profit partners as associations, intermediaries and social partners) in the field of e-Skills.

The partners committed to working in partnership across the Employability value chain to deliver skills and training opportunities for:

  • Young unemployed and underemployed
  • People with disability
  • Older workers and the elderly
  • Women (re)entering the labour market 

The Employability Alliance's track record


In the past few years, the Alliance partners have developed a track record in helping to reach over 10 million lower skilled people across Europe with access to employability skills training and curricula.

Now the challenge we have set ourselves is to lead broader partnerships that create pathways from skills training to better and easier access to jobs.

To do this we are forging new and innovative partnerships with local public sector employment agencies and skills councils, and local Chambers of Commerce and SME associations.

Six such partnerships have already started in Germany, the UK, Luxembourg, France, Hungary  and Poland.

We will broaden our reach by promoting volunteering activities and increasing access to employment for people with disabilities.

The Employability Pathway


Further to the work of the European e-Skills Forum1 and the report of the ICT Task Force2 (November 2006), the European Commission's Communication3 on "e-Skills for the 21st Century: Fostering Competitiveness, Growth and Jobs" (September 2007) and the Competitiveness Council Conclusions on "A Long-Term Strategy for e-Skills" (November 2007), and the EC Communication on “News
Skills for New Jobs” (December 2008)4, there is now a strong consensus on e-Skills in Europe.


e-Skills are becoming central in formulating policy designed to ensure that Europe can boost the productivity and the employability of its workforce and respond to global competitive challenges.

Responding to these trends, the Alliance partners programmes work at all levels of the employability pathway from the very low skilled to more highly skilled ICT users and ICT practitioners, because employability is about giving people access to the skills they need to gain and retain a job or transfer to a new job.

Alliance partners also recognized that people need different types of employability skills support depending on their level of formal education and previous work experience. In focusing the Alliance's joint efforts on people with lower employability prospects, the Alliance aims to multiply the numbers of people reached with practical skills training, competency certification and job placement support across a range of sectors, and assist people to move up the employability pathway into more skilled and better paid jobs.

Towards the more highly skilled, the Alliance aims to help increase the skills and competencies of today's and tomorrow's workforce by providing access to the latest technology tools and training which will increase their competitiveness.

1 http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/ict/policy/ict-skills.htm  and http://communities.trainingvillage.gr/esf  
2 http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/ict/policy/taskforce/taskforce_en.htm
3 COM (2007) 496 final

4 http://ec.europa.eu/education/lifelonglearning- policy/doc/com868_en.pdf