Some of the worst effects of the recession in Europe could become permanent in some areas, a think tank has warned.
The IPPR, a left-leaning think tank, said that large levels of unemployment and underemployment risk becoming entrenched in the European economic landscape. It said unemployment across Europe was at 10%, with underemployment at 5%.
According to official figures, unemployment in the European Union fell from 9.4% to 9.3% in September. In the eurozone, the rate also fell slightly from 10.9% to 10.8%.
The IPPR explained that those currently unemployed are at risk of being left behind as technological advances change the skillset required by employers.
The report added that the biggest problem facing the UK was its productivity. In addition, the IPPR said that in-work training in the UK has fallen by 4 percentage points since the financial crisis in 2008, more than any other EU nation.
It welcomed George Osborne's target of creating three million apprenticeships and the introduction of the apprenticeship levy. But it called on the Chancellor not to announce further cuts to the education budget in Wednesday's Spending Review.
Catherine Colebrook, IPPR chief economist, said: "For the UK, the task for policy makers will be to ensure that the UK continues to invest in developing the skills it needs to compete globally.
"It is striking that adult participation in education and training in the UK has fallen since 2008 by more than in any other country, at a time when participation has increased across most of Europe. Investment in the country's skills should be a priority for the Chancellor."