The European Commission has adopted a report examining workers' access to continuing training in EU Member States, on the basis of which it has proposed three initiatives to improve access. The report found considerable differences in access to continuing training, both between Member States and between categories of workers. The report is based on reports from the Member States and from organizations representing the social partners. It represents the first complete report on vocational training in Europe. The main points of the report are: - The objective of generalized access to continuing training for all workers in the EU is far from being achieved; - There are substantial discrepancies between Member States and between categories of companies and workers; - The better off countries tend to have the best continuing training policies, raising the danger that discrepancies within the EU will increase; - Initiatives in the field are widespread, allowing opportunities to disseminate best practice. The three initiatives proposed by the Commission will fall under the Confidence Pact for Employment and will contribute to establishing a Community reference framework for promoting access to skills. The Commission proposes to: - Organize consultations with the social partners on the subject of access to skills. (Consultations should start after summer 1997); - Present a proposal for a Council Decision, in October 1997, to consolidate procedures for reports from Member States and social partners, and for the collection of comparable data. This will permit a regular comparative assessment (benchmarking) of progress achieved, at three yearly intervals; - Give higher priority to continuing training projects and access to skills during the remaining two years of the LEONARDO DA VINCI vocational training programme, and in preparations for the subsequent programmes in the field.