Globalisation, technological change, information and communication advances have led to important changes in the employment structure and skills content of jobs. The complexity of jobs is increasing across all sectors and occupations and there is inflation in relative skills demand, even for low-skilled jobs. Many low-skilled jobs now require greater literacy, numeracy and other basic skills. A number of already existing labour market challenges further intensified during the recent economic downturn. Education and investment in skills have now become a corner stone of Europe’s strategy to overcome the crisis and boost growth and jobs.

This research note

  • provides an overview of the EU policy framework for upscaling skills, working conditions and gender equality
  • presents the situation of people with low levels of qualifications across the EU and the challenges they face
  • analyses the main aspects of precarious work and the situation of different groups of women and men in low-quality employment
  • presents the opportunities to participate in training and its benefits

This research note draws on data from Eurostat’s Labour Force Survey (EU-LFS), Adult Education Survey (AES), and Eurofound’s European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS).

Further information

Press release: Women with low skills have fewer opportunities in the EU labour market