Communications Networks, Content and Technology
European Commission Directorate General

Learning and skills for youth

Learning and skills for youth

Inclusion, Skills & Youth (Unit G.4)

Our vision is digital based learning opportunities available 24/7 to Europe's youth, to workers and to citizens generally, serving a population equipped with the skills for the 21st century workplace, with an adequate fit between skills and the employment market


Develop ICT that bring support to different forms of learning: more customised to individual needs including disadvantaged learners and those with special needs; capable of developing essential soft skills such as problem solving and collaborative working necessary to equip people, especially young people, for the job market. There remains a need to foster the use of ICTs both inside and outside formal educational systems, to support 24/7 learning.  Actions will focus on research and innovation with a strong focus on how to promote take-up, including through initiatives with industry


Large implementation gaps in using ICT in education and training systems limit their potential impact for learning across Europe. Learning and educational opportunities too often stop for the individual when leaving formal education. Although ICTs are extensively used by children and young people for information and for social interactions the lack of appropriate, personalised and quality software, services and educational content is a barrier to increasing learning opportunities for all. At present 88% of 9 year olds do not study at a 'highly digitally-equipped school' – with appropriate equipment, fast broadband and high 'connectivity'. Evidence shows that teachers do not take up leadership in the digital world: while 70% of teachers in the EU recognise the importance of training in ICT-supported pedagogies, only 20% students are taught by digitally confident and supportive teachers.


Full-Time Equivalent: 
9.00 full-time equivalent (FTE)
Collaboration with other DGs or agencies:
We envisage spending under the Horizon 2020 programme of the order of €70 ml (years 2014-15).These are indicative figures to be confirmed by the budgetary process by the end of 2013.

Large scale pilots and research roadmapping

Large scale pilots, as measured by trebling the number of schools, teachers and students involved; research roadmapping



Mapping of stakeholders involved

Target involvment of flagship stakeholders regional/national; and schools (as of 2014)

Pilots in schools

Target 2 large scale pilots (15.000 schools and 300.000 students) (as of 2015)
Baseline 5.000 schools and 100.000 students

Monitoring of projects and new selection

Monitoring of ongoing projects and selection of new R&D proposals on Technology-enhanced learning through multidisciplinary research projects, including pre-commercial public procurement (PCP) for learning solutions



Monitoring and Selection

Target 40 projects monitored, 13 retained new projects start (Q1 2014)
Baseline 40 projects

PCP uptake by public bodies

Target Increase of successfully involved public bodies in PCP (2014)
Baseline new tool

Multi-stakeholder platform

Building of a multi-stakeholder platform – industry, content and software providers, educational bodies  - contributing to drive innovation in education and training

Timeframe: Q2 2014




Target Platform operational (Q2 2014)

Opening up Education

Mainstreaming ICT in planned initiative on Opening up Education, including the promotion of the fully digital classroom

Timeframe: 2014



EU strategy

Target EU strategy on opening up education (2014)

R&D roadmaps

Development of research and innovation roadmaps on  learning technologies for the research community and the eLearning industry



Bi-annual roadmaps

Target one roadmap per 2 year (Q1 2015)

Access outside formal learning

Access to learning and content outside formal environments (in workplace and for self-paced learning)



Increase in informal learning

Target Increase by 5% p.a. the participation in informal learning (ongoing)

Emergence of digital classrooms

Support the emergence of digital classrooms, integrating devices and hardware, software applications and content technologies in innovative educational practices and curricula;



Digital classrooms

Target Schools & then classrooms digital + connected to Internet (schools - 2016, classrooms by 2020)

Europe as research leader

A recognised cross-disciplinary research community in Europe, continuing to lead in its field.



Ranking EU research

Target quotations/bibliometric data for EU scientists leading in the World

Learning market for workplace

Developing learning market for workplace based learning systems that support agile organisations and SMEs in faster and better (re)skilling in response to new business needs, as measured by eventual products 



EU market growth rate

Target increase by 2% the EU share in worldwide market growth rate for learning technoloies products (2016)
Baseline 30% (market share in learning technologies)

More schools in ICT

Improved mainstreaming of ICT in education, as measured by the numbers of schools involved in pilots every two years.



Nb of schools in pilots

Target additional 5000 schools p.a. in Europe to take part in pilot (2014)

Availibility of digital learning content

Ensure wider availability of quality digital learning and educational content and networked repositories.



Available content (lead indicator)

Target at least 1000.000 resources of learning content digitally available through aggregated repositories at EU level (2016)

Link to DG CONNECT's Top Level Targets

  • Europe 2020 - 75% of the population aged 20-64 should be employed Europe 2020
  • Europe 2020 - 3% of the EU's GDP should be invested in R&D, complemented by a future EU 2020 Headline Innovation Indicator
  • Europe 2020 - The share of early school leavers should be under 10% and at least 40% of 30-34 years old should have completed a tertiary or equivalent education
  • H2020 - By 2020, one third of all Europe's ICT business investment in ICT R&D in the EU should come from companies created within the last two decades