It is less than three months that the European Commission has launched its Investment Plan for Europe as first guidance on how Europe can overcome the financial and economic crisis. Investments in education and training stand at the core of the general objectives of the financing and investment operations of the Plan. The European Commission thus recognises that high-quality education and training is a key factor for social inclusion and at a later stage translates into economic growth.

The ETUI / ETUC conference took place in Brussekls on 24 to 26 September. Bernadette Ségol, the ETUC General Secretary, described the three main objectives of the conference as follows: "Understand: To facilitate open debate among academics, trade unionists and politicians on the major challenges facing us in the fields of employment and labour markets.

The European Parliament has published the report on the access of young workers to the labour market. The report describes the challenges of young people on the labour market and the measures to support them, with a focus on vocational education and training. Six case studies in Austria, Finland, France, Italy, Poland and the United Kingdom examine different strategies to prevent and combat youth unemployment.

The European Commission and EURYDICE have published their review on adult education and training in Europe this week as a response to the presentation of the first results of the OECD survey on adult skills in 2013 (Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies PIAAC). The report 'Adult Education and Training in Europe: Widening Access to Learning Opportunities', reminds that "around 25 % of adults (25-64) in the EU – that is around 70 million people – have not completed any formal education beyond the level of lower secondary education.

Alain Mouchoux, "a strongly committed trade union activist" and former ETUCE General Secretary from 1994 to 2002, passed away Sunday morning. As a primary school inspector Alain Mouchoux became an active member of the national school inspector's union (SNIDEN), before being elected in 1982 as National Secretary for Education of the Fédération de l'éducation nationale (FEN). He very quickly got engaged at the international level. His many competencies and human skills led to his nomination as General Secretary of Education International (EI) European region, the European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE), for a long mandate, from 1994 until 2002. Prior to that he had chaired the Comité syndical francophone de l'éducation et de la formation (CSFEF) gathering francophone education unions.

On Monday, 16th February 2015, the regular pay negotiations for the nearly 800.000 public employees of the German federal states, the Bundesländer, were launched. About one out of four public employees works at a public school while one out of seven is employed by a public university. The unions in the German public sector, among them ETUCE-member GEW the German Education Union, demand a pay rise of 5,5 percent, with a minimum of 175 Euro per month.