All organisations who take action to boost digital skills in Europe can become members of the Coalition by registering on the pledge viewer and pledging to take actions to tackle the digital skills gap. Actions can range from training unemployed people, hosting massive open online courses (MOOCs) for teachers, offering coding classes for children or cutting edge training for ICT specialists.
The Coalition shares and promotes digital skills initiatives through the European Digital Skills Awards, which can be replicated and scaled up across Europe.
Each year the European Commission highlights initiatives that help improve the digital skills of citizens, the labour force, ICT professionals, and women and girls through the European Digital Skills Awards.
Member States can support collaboration between different actors in their country by bringing them together in national coalitions.
The Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition Governing Board provides strategic leadership to the Coalition. The Board has 12 members who represent the Coalition partners at European level, and act as a link between pledgers, national coalitions and social partners. The Governing board adopted a 9-point action plan in September 2018 outlining the next steps to expand the membership and to ensure that the EU’s future budget includes a focus on the development of digital skills.
Who or what does the Coalition target?
The Coalition tackles the need for digital skills of 4 broad groups:
- Digital skills for all: developing digital skills to enable all citizens to be active in our digital society
- Digital skills for the labour force: developing digital skills for the digital economy, e.g. upskilling and reskilling workers and jobseekers, and actions on career advice and guidance
- Digital skills for ICT professionals: developing high level digital skills for ICT professionals in all industry sectors
- Digital skills in education: transforming teaching and learning of digital skills in a lifelong learning perspective, including the training of teachers
What should the Coalition achieve?
The Coalition hopes to achieve the following goals:
- train 1 million young unemployed people for vacant digital jobs through internships, traineeships, apprenticeships and short-term training programmes
- support the upskilling and retraining of the workforce and in particular take concrete measures to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) who face specific challenges in attracting and retaining digital talent as well as retraining their workforce
- modernise education and training to provide all students and teachers with the opportunity to use digital tools and materials in their teaching and learning activities and to develop and upgrade their digital skills.
- make use of available funding to support digital skills and carry out awareness-raising about the importance of digital skills for employability, competitiveness and participation in society.
The digital skills gap in Europe
Having a digitally skilled labour force and population is crucial for European competitiveness and an inclusive digital society.
However, 42% of European citizens do not have basic digital skills. 37% of people in the labour force – farmers, bank employees, and factory workers alike – also lack sufficient digital skills, despite the increasing need for such skills in all jobs.
Europe also lacks skilled ICT specialists to fill the growing number of job vacancies in all sectors of the economy. A crucial issue underpinning this is the need to modernise our education and training systems, which currently do not prepare young people sufficiently for the digital economy and society, and to move to a life-long learning approach so that people can adapt their skills sets throughout their life-times as needed.
To help address the skills gap in Europe, the European Digital Skills and Jobs Platform was launched under the Connecting Europe Facility Programme. The platform aims to offer a number of resources, including:
- insights into EU and national initiatives and actions in digital skills and jobs
- training opportunities and career development support
- good practices, expert advice, resources and tools
- data, research-based facts and figures
- funding opportunities and financial instruments
- thriving interactive community spaces
- news, opinions and events
Digital Economy and Society Index
The European Commission monitors Member States' digital progress and you can review the findings of the Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) for each country in the areas of:
- human capital/digital skills
- use of Internet services by citizens
- integration of digital technology by businesses
- digital public services
- research and development ICT