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Key Enabling Technologies and Digital Economy

e-Skills - Supporting information

Initiatives in the e-skills domain started in several Member States at the end of the 1990s in response to severe shortages of ICT practitioners. The European Commission supported these initiatives and the efforts at EU level of the industry in the “Career Space” project. With the burst of the dotcom bubble a reaction set in, but the Commission and Member States kept a strong interest on the issue.

After the first European e-Skills Summit organised with the Danish Presidency in October 2002 in Copenhagen, the Commission established several expert groups, in particular the European e-Skills Forum, to design a long-term e-skills strategy. These activities led to the adoption by the Commission in 2007 of the Communication on "e-Skills for the 21st Century: Fostering Competitiveness Growth and Jobs".

The e-Skills Steering Committee

The Steering Committee was set up with representatives of CIP/EIP participating countries to help the European Commission to organise the e-Skills Week and to the external evaluation of the implementation of the Commission's Communication on "e-Skills for the 21st Century".

Final Report on the Evaluation of the Implementation of the Communication pdf - 3 MB [3 MB]

The external evaluation of the implementation of the Communication was completed in October 2010. It concluded positively on the relevance and the achievements of the EU activities in this field. It recommended the continuation of the EU long term e-skills agenda and support to the development of Member States' e-skills strategies, the increase of the resources devoted to e-skills activities and closer co-ordination and synchronisation of the actions at the European and the national level. It also recommended to focus on identified gaps taking account of the disparities between Member States and to strengthen the monitoring of progress in order to further increase effectiveness, added-value, visibility and sustainability.

Supporting Standardisation Actions

CEN (European Committee for Standardisation) and its Workshop on ICT Skills is actively developing and promoting a European e-Competence Framework and related projects and initiatives.



Dialogue and Consultation

ICT Skills Monitoring Group (2001-2002).
I was established as a follow-up of the conference on the e-Economy organised in Brussels on 1-2 March 2001. A benchmarking report of national policies was discussed at the European e-Skills Summit organised in co-operation with the Danish Presidency on 17-18 October 2002 in Copenhagen. Council Conclusions were adopted on 5 December 2002.

European e-Skills Forum (2003-2004).
The setting up of the Forum corresponded to the implementation of a recommendation formulated at the European e-Skills Summit). It was composed of representatives of Member States, Cedefop, the OECD and stakeholders. The Forum released its report "e-Skills in Europe: Towards 2010 and Beyond pdf - 162 KB [162 KB] " in September 2004. Subsequently, several studies were launched in 2005 based on the recommendations of the Forum to prepare for the development of a long-term e-skills agenda.

ICT Task Force (2006).
The Task Force on competitiveness of the ICT sector and ICT uptake in Europe set up six six working groups, including one on skills and employability. The Task Force released its final report pdf - 138 KB [138 KB] in November 2006 including recommendations on e-Skills.

Expert Group on e-Skills to help design the long-term e-skills agenda.
The group was composed on representatives of Member States, relevant Commission's services, Cedefop, OECD and stakeholders. A Declaration was adopted at the European e-Skills Conference which was organised in Thessaloniki on 5-6 October 2006. It was an important milestone towards the preparation of a long term e-Skills agenda.

The report of the European e-Skills Forum, the Thessaloniki Declaration of 2006 and the report of the ICT Task Force include detailed and concrete proposals for a long-term e-Skills agenda.

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