The Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition is one of the 10 priority actions of the Skills Agenda for Europe. It was launched in December 2016. One and a half years later, it has 400 members from business, social partners, education and training providers and civil society organisations from all over Europe. 102 members have pledged and taken concrete actions to provide Europeans, the labour force, ICT professionals or in education with the digital skills they need to work and participate in society. The "Pledge viewer" website collects information about the progress of the pledges.
According to the data collected from all the pledgers, of the 7.4 million trainings provided, 4.3 million were online trainings and 3.1 face-to-face or blended trainings. The main participants were primary and secondary schools students (4.1 million) and citizens in general (3.0 million). The members of the Coalition which provided training to most people were Microsoft (2.5 million), Google (3 million), Telefónica Education (310.000), the Lithuanian National Coalition (47.300) and Barclays (29.800).
Pledging organisations also delivered 1.9 million certifications. Of those, 1.6 million were delivered by ECDL Certifications, 90,000 by Microsoft and 85,000 by Certiport. Other examples include the Basque Coalition for Digital Skills and Jobs which delivered 39,400 certificates and offered 75,700 skills assessments to ICT professionals, and Associazione italiana per l’Informatica e il Calcolo Automatico (AICA), which delivered 25,000 certificates targeting VET institutions, universities, SMEs and adults.
1.6 million Europeans – of which 1.1 million were primary and secondary students – were reached through awareness-raising activities, events and competitions. Topics vary from digital skills in general to coding, cybersecurity, product design, sustainable design, mechanical engineering, computer-aided manufacturing, 3D-modelling and printing, Internet of Things, etc. Most active was Autodesk who reached 500,000 primary and secondary students through their Designathon competitions. Moreover, the University of Urbino provided 300,000 students with coding activities in their classroom, followed by Telefonica (121,000), DIDASCA (100,000) and AICA (64,000).
Pledgers also offered 17,500 job placements or internships. 10,000 were internships offered by members of the European Digital SME Alliance to students, unemployed, elderly and disabled people.
45 of the 102 pledges cover a majority of the EU Member States, whilst 50 are at national level and 7 are local. The countries with the highest number of pledges are Italy (20), Spain (14), United Kingdom (11) and Greece (9).
The majority of pledges are submitted by companies and organisations from the ICT sector (59) and education and training bodies (33). The number of pledges addressing ICT-using sectors such as banking, agriculture and manufacturing is increasing.
23 National Digital Skills and Jobs Coalitions
The Coalition is a pan-European initiative that now counts 23 national coalitions (BE, BG, CY, CZ, DK, EST, EL, ES, FR, HR, HU, IRE, LV, LT, LU, MT, NL, PL, PT, RO, SK, SL, SE) who bring together a multitude of national and local stakeholders and work on the local digital skills agenda.
National coalitions are engaged in a wide variety of actions and projects. In Belgium, the Coalition was involved in the creation of the Digital Belgium Skills Fund through which 37 projects received financial support in 2017 with more to come in 2018. It also set up BeCentral which is a digital hub and home to many organisations and startups active in digital skills development. The Irish Coalition has supported the development of national digital strategies and involved 120,000 participants in the Irish Tech Week. The Latvian Coalition supports the government when it comes to shaping digital policies. It is also a role model when it comes to using EU funds to boost digital skills. Currently the Coalition implements a digital skills training project for SMEs and one for ICT professionals, both co-funded by the European Regional and Development Fund. In France, the Coalition is contributing to the national strategy for digital inclusion (2018-2022).
Read more about the National Coalitions here.