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Digital Opportunity Traineeships initiative exceeds original targets

Following the launch of the Digital Opportunity Traineeships in 2018, today more than 7,200 traineeships have been registered through this programme. This exceeds the original target of 6,000 trainees by the end of 2020, more than one year in advance.

Digital Opportunity Traineeships initiative exceeds original targets.

European Commission

The Digital Opportunity Traineeships (DOT) initiative provides cross-border traineeships for students and recent graduates. It gives them the opportunity to get hands-on working experience in jobs that deal with digital technologies. Trainees improve and gain new skills to prepare them for the job market in fields such as cybersecurity, big data, digital marketing and software development.

Students apply through their universities and companies willing to host trainees publish their offers on ErasmusIntern or advertise them through direct contacts with universities’ career offices. The DOT pilot project is financed by Horizon 2020 and implemented through Erasmus+.

Broad involvement of companies and universities

The Digital Opportunity Traineeship initiative triggered interest from major European universities as well as big tech companies and SMEs. Amongst the most active ‘senders’ are the University of Delft in the Netherlands and the École Nationale Supérieure de Mécanique et des Microtechniques (ENSMM) in France.

The list of companies that offered Digital Opportunity Traineeships covers various fields from supercomputing, robotics or engineering to the most popular software development or digital marketing. BMW, Airbus, European Space Agency or the Barcelona Supercomputing Centre are among the most prominent names that joined this initiative. Many local startups and SMEs especially in the fields of game development, big data or cybersecurity that benefited from this initiative.

One of the good examples is Whalebone – a Czech startup that protects internet users from malware and access to infected websites. In their success story, CEO Richard Malovič describes how the young company benefited from hiring Digital Opportunity trainees.

Approximately 15% of the traineeships in DOT took place at universities and research institutes. The remaining 85% of the trainees worked in companies or NGOs.

The initiative remains popular especially among young people who study at German universities. Germany has sent over 1,460 trainees. The UK, Spain and France follow with around 700 trainees sent. On the other side, Spain is the biggest receiver (over 1,070 trainees received), followed by Germany (980), the UK (780) and the Netherlands (710).

Even though the funds allocated through Horizon 2020 to this pilot project have been exhausted and the target has been reached, the initiative will not end here and students are still able to take part in digital traineeships in companies and research institutes financed through Erasmus+.

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