7 actions that will improve digital skills and create more jobs in Europe

Even though almost 24 million Europeans are currently unemployed, tech companies have a hard time finding digital skilled professionals. By 2020, there will be up to 825,000 unfilled vacancies for Information and Communications technology (ICT) specialists. However, not only ICT experts will need digital skills, in the near future almost every job will require some level of digital skills.

In order to prepare European citizens to this reality, two years ago the European Commission launched the Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs.  Some of the main goals of the Grand Coalition are to increase the availability of ICT training as well as to create awareness about ICT careers among young people. These are the 7 main actions that are already taking place: 

  1. Countdown for the Digital Single MarketVery soon, the Commission will launch the Digital Single Market (DSM) strategy.This will materialize in new jobs for young job-seekers. 
  2. Digital Skills on top of the political agendaCommissioner Oettinger has been assigned by President Juncker to help Member States create and implement and effective digital skill strategy within the Member States. 
  3. More and better national coalitions for digital jobsHaving this in mind, a Toolkit was created with recommendations on how to successfully start and implement stakeholder alliances. 
  4. Improving the Grand CoalitionIt is essential to widen the membership to the Grand Coalition to all kinds of digital companies. Also, digital skills should be are addressed by social partners.
  5. Effective use of EU funding to digital skills development : There are many funding sources at European and national level to support projects boosting digital skills, they should be used for more trainings and work-based learning.
  6. Studying the skills of the futureStudies and projects at forecasting and analysing skills are and will continue to be sustained.  
  7. Curricula changes are needed: time to start coding: European youth needs to be prepared to the future with the right skills. It is vital that schools and universities include and promote coding and computer science in their curricula.

The learning of digital skills should start at a young age, therefore many European initiatives are taking place to promote coding  and computer science in schools. Some Member States, such as the UK, have already included coding in their school curricula. In Italy, the European programme "Back to School" is taking computing graduates return to their schools of origin as volunteer tutors for the Future program, focused on preparing children with digital skills, like coding.

Share your ideas on the subject and participate on the debate: @eSkillsGrowthEU @eSkills4Jobs