The Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition Conference 2017 was thought-provoking, energetic and positive. With the Digital Skills Awards ceremony, it even had an Oscars' flair to it!

The Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition shows that the European Commission can achieve ambitious goals when it works together with committed partners. In one year, pledgers of the Coalition – non-for profit organisations, companies, learning providers and social partners – have provided several million trainings to Europeans, offered more than a million certifications and assessments opportunities and raised awareness of the digital skills gap in Europe.

The need to attract the best brains to digital jobs and to build bridges between education and the job market were underlined by many throughout the conference. The Digital Opportunity traineeship initiative takes a further step in the right direction. Starting next year thousands of students will be able to get work experience in for example cybersecurity, artificial intelligence or digital marketing in another European country. As Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, said at the launch: "I want to encourage talented young minds to pursue the digital jobs of the future".

The Commissioner confirmed that she attaches to digital skills and the great value of the work done by the Coalition partners to support upskilling of citizens, the labour force, teachers and students for the digital transformation. The Commissioner also called on schools, teachers, companies and volunteers to support the development of digital education by bringing EU Code Week in 50% of schools by 2020.

Identifying and sharing of best practices in digital skills is a key element to bringing the Coalition forward. I would like to congratulate the winners of the European Digital Skills Awards 2017 on their outstanding efforts to bring digital skills to citizens, in the labour market, to ICT specialists, in education and to women and girls. It was heart-warming to hear the joy of the five winners of the awards as they heard that their project had won.

As we kick-off the second year, I look forward to working with partners of the Coalition to further implement our ambitious agenda to bring digital skills to all Europeans.

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