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Shaping Europe’s digital future

Digital skills initiatives

The European Commission supports a number of initiatives to promote excellence in digital skills across different organisations, sectors and countries.

Initiatives

The Commission offers a wide range of digital skills initiatives. These all work towards meeting the Digital Decade targets of ensuring 80% of adults have basic digital skills and reaching 20 million employed ICT specialists, with a gender balance, by 2030.

The Commission is keeping track of progress towards these targets in its annual State of the Digital Decade reports.The State of the Digital Decade report 2023 was published on 27 of September 2023 and was complemented by a Staff Working Document. The document outlines Digital Decade cardinal points in four areas, including digital skills.

The first chapter of this document takes stock of the EU’s progress towards achieving the digital skills targets as set out in the Digital Decade Policy Programme 2030. It also describes in detail recent actions and initiatives taken both at Member State and EU level in the area of digital skills.

These initiatives support stakeholders in their work to improve the level of digital skills in Europe.

They include:

There are many other policy areas that feed into the Commission’s work on digital skills. For example:

Funding

Significant investments are needed to tackle the digital skills gap. The instruments put in place at EU level for the 2021-2027 budget provide major opportunities for Member States to support the sustainable development of digital skills.

Funding opportunities include:

  • The Recovery and Resilience Facility: above 18% of its funds (i.e., EUR 23 billion) will be spent on investments in boosting digital skills at all levels.
  • The Digital Europe Programme: promoting digital skills is a core element of this new funding, the budget for the first three years of the programme, 2021 to 2023, amounts to €224 million.
  • Erasmus +: the EU's programme to support education, training, youth and sport in Europe. It supports the development of digital skills among other, through the initiative on Centres of Vocational Excellence with €400 million in the period 2021-2027.
  • The European Social Fund Plus: a fund to support EU Member States in reforming national education and training systems to support key skills. More than €99 million will be dedicated towards strengthening digital skills through the ESF+ in the period 2021-2027.
  • The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund for Displaced Workers (EGF): supports trainings in digital skills to help laid-off workers find another job or set up their own business.
  • Horizon Europe: finances grants for master, PhD and post-graduate research activities in all fields including digital through Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions as well as the European Institute of Innovation & Technology.

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