Neelie KROES
Vice-President of the European Commission

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Dozens of ways to boost digital skills – I meet pledgers to the Grand Coalition

You probably know that many Europeans today face high unemployment. But fewer know that digitally skilled jobs are a massive growth area: with demand for talented workers outstripping supply, so that Europe could soon face a shortage of nearly one million skilled workers – potentially letting down our many unemployed, and damaging our digital competitiveness.

Fixing this problem is the aim of our grand coalition for digital jobs, launched back in March. The Coalition is a new way for the EU to work together with industry, academia, governments and others to solve this problem. And I'm delighted that we've now had over 40 pledges made!

Today we gathered together all of those pledgers to show things are going, and discuss how to get more impact.  

The new pledges show not just the range of innovative ideas for plugging Europe's skills gap – from internships, to cool new platforms so talented young people can show off their skills using material they've made online. But also how those ideas are being applied across Europe, including in the most crisis-hit countries.  

I personally would like to thank all those taking part. And I want that EU support to continue, including through these new programmes working together and making use of each other, using EU funding streams like those for Youth Employment.

I'm also very happy that many EU countries are taking a similar approach – launching Local or National Coalitions (some of which are in fact already in place). Those can really secure funding and political commitment at every level. And I'm looking forward to launching the Lithuanian national coalition for jobs next month in Vilnius.

More details on the digital agenda blog, or the Grand Coalition website. Twitter: #GC_EU


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