Ruth Kelly calls on European ministers to address skill shortages in Europe.

Education and Skills secretary Ruth Kelly will today urge a meeting of European ministers to increase investment aimed at addressing skills shortages across Europe.

The move comes as part of the government’s drive to tackle skills gaps in specific sectors of the economy such as construction, which in the UK needs to recruit 300,000 workers to meet the requirements of its current order book.

Kelly will tell an informal meeting of education ministers in London that education and skills must take priority in the drive to make Europe the world’s most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy, outlined in the Lisbon Agenda. She will also call for increased cooperation on skills reform.

Kelly said: “European Commissioner Jan Figel and his team have worked closely with my department to provide a sound basis for increased collaboration between member states in this important area. We must make good progress if we are to secure our respective trading positions in an increasingly globalised economy.”