On the last 4th of September, the European Commission has launched the second edition of the European Digital Skills Award, a major initiative aiming to give relevance to 4 significant projects designed to improve the digital skills of citizens, labour force, ICT professionals and education providers. What’s more, an additional fifth award will go to the best project addressing the needs of women and girls, besides the previous topics, with the objective to highlight the importance of closing the gender gap in digital skills.
Having a digitally skilled population and labour force is crucial to drive European competitiveness and to foster an inclusive digital society. Actually, today 47% of Europeans do not have basic digital skills, and this is why enhancing Europeans’ competence to use digital technology is one of the priorities set by the Digital Single Market and the New Skills Agenda for Europe, endorsed by the Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition.
Selected projects shall tackle the need for digital skills outlined in four main 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, jobseekers, 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
All finalists will showcase their project at the Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition conference on 7th December in Brussels, presented by Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society. The diversity and relevance of the projects applying for the awards will be indicative of the many great initiatives in Europe happening right now to boost digital skills. Both winners and all the other candidates will get the opportunity to present their project at the conference and to benefit from the high degree of diffusion and visibility allowed by the EU media and communication channels.
All projects will be assessed by a jury composed of digital skills experts from different stakeholder groups and different Member States, appointed by the Commission. The jury will assess the impact attained by the project, the synergies between different stakeholders involved, the scalability and replicability of the initiative as well as the effectiveness of the project. The initiative must cover one or multiple EU Members States or EFTA countries and have started and shown results in the period 1 January 2015 – 30 October 2017.