Neelie KROES
Vice-President of the European Commission

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Get Online Week across Europe next week

Next week, 26-30 March, is Get Online week. Well – I guess if you're reading this blog you're already online! But maybe you could still use a digital skills boost to help you get or excel in your job? Or maybe you know one of the 25% of European adults who've never used the internet? People for who joining in the digital revolution could help them access new opportunities: maybe your parents are too scared to use the net to give you a phone call – or your neighbour is looking for a job and could be doing it online? Get Online Week is designed to help all those people discover the Internet so they can be included in tomorrow's digital opportunities. And there's some great new tools to make that easier. Like the SkillAge application that finds out if you have the digital skills to get hired and excel in the 21st century workplace – giving you detailed feedback in areas like communications ability, productivity and social media. Plus there are great user-friendly Internet buttons that you can set up for those less familiar with the Net, to make their online experience easier and more comfortable. Or you can try out this employment toolkit which provides some great online resources to help people choose, prepare for, and successfully get the job of their dreams. (Also available in French, Latvian, Romanian and Spanish). I was delighted to try some of these tools at the Belgian launch event for Get Online Week –if you know (or you are) someone who could do with a digital boost, then try them out too! And check out the website to find who is organising events in your country, and how you can get involved. For me, this is essential if we're going to get Europe socially included and economically active. The benefits extend far: if everyone was online, governments across Europe could make savings up to an amazing €30 billion per year, thanks to the wider and cheaper use of e-government services. Plus, no less importantly, it's essential to reach out if we're going to address the vast underrepresentation of women in ICT careers. All this is part of the Commission's e-Skills week – showing people across Europe how e-skills can help them find jobs in the digital age. Again – check out the website to find out what's going on in your area.

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