About the Grand Coalition
Following the Employment Package of April 2012 VP Kroes called for the formation of a multi-stakeholder partnership, the Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs, to tackle the twin issues of a projected shortfall of up to 900,000 ICT professionals in Europe by 2015, exacerbated by a decline in computing science graduates. Hence, its aim is to increase the overall supply of digitally skilled professionals and to better match supply and demand of digital skills.
On 4-5 March 2013 the Commission launched the Grand Coalition at a Conference in Brussels, which was hosted by President José Manuel Barroso Vice Presidents Neelie Kroes and Antonio Tajani, Commissioners László Andor and Androula Vassiliou as well as Richard Bruton, Irish Minister for Jobs, Entreprise and Innovation.
At the launch conference a number of organizations made concrete pledges to the Grand Coalition. Additional pledges were presented at the Digital Agenda Assembly on 19 and 20 June in Dublin. Furthermore, Digital Europe, CIONET, EUROCIO and PIN-SME are very active contributors since the very beginning of the partnership.
The Commission has also announced support measures, including € 1 million from the Competitiveness and Innovation programme to support a Thematic Network on the Grand Coalition. An open call for proposals under the CIP-ICT work programme 2013, closed on 14 May 2013. The selected proposal will be announced in due time.
The European Commission has kick-started the process and facilitate the interactions, but it cannot drive the project alone. The experience from VP Kroes' call for action in Davos has shown that it is necessary to bring on board CEOs or Senior Vice Presidents, who will offer concrete pledges and support. We are actively looking for pledges also from other stakeholders, such as public employment services, training providers etc.
We trust stakeholders to actively contribute, for this is a rare occasion where everybody can win: employees by getting training and jobs, companies by getting the workforce they need, public employment services by reducing unemployment.
The Grand Coalition is also an action that supports the legislative package for a "Connected Continent: Building a Telecoms Single Market" aimed at building a connected, competitive continent and enabling sustainable digital jobs and industries, which was adopted on 11 September 2013 (calendar).
Key priorities - Concrete short-term actions
The Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs will deliver concrete actions, which can be implemented in the short-term and have high local impact. It will build on on-going programmes and best practices that could be scaled-up. The following are some of the objectives of the actions:
- Improve the image and attractiveness of ICT careers
- Offer training packages co-designed with the ICT industry
- Offer more aligned degrees and curricula at vocational and university level education that will respond to the needs of the students and the industry
- Improve recognition of qualifications across countries by stimulating take-up of a European certification scheme for digital skills of ICT professionals, based on the existing e-Competence Framework
- Reduce labour market mismatches by stimulating mobility
- Stimulate digital entrepreneurship by liaising with Startup Europe, a single platform for tools and programmes supporting people wanting to set up and grow web start-ups in Europe
The Grand Coalition will help accelerate and intensify efforts initiated by European policies, such as the Digital Agenda for Europe, the e-Skills Strategy, the Employment Package, the Opening up Education Initiative, the Rethinking Education Strategy, the Youth Opportunities Initiative, and the EU Skills Panorama.
For more information about the Grand Coalition Priorities please consult the Grand Coalition Framing Document.
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