258 projects applied to one of four categories of the Digital Skills Award 2016 from all over Europe:
- Digital skills for all – developing digital skills to enable all citizens to be active in our digital society. 66 projects applied in this category.
- Digital skills for the labour force – developing digital skills for the digital economy, e.g. upskilling and reskilling workers, jobseekers; actions on career advice and guidance. 58 projects applied in this category.
- More and better trained ICT professionals in Europe – developing high level digital skills for ICT professionals in all industry sectors. 114 projects applied in this category.
- Digital skills in education – transforming teaching and learning of digital skills in a lifelong learning perspective, including the training of teachers. 20 projects applied in this category.
All finalists will showcase their project at the Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition launch conference on 1 December. The diversity and relevance of the projects applying for the awards are illustrative of the many great initiatives in Europe happening right now to boost digital skills.
And the finalists are...
Category 1: Digital skills for all
Biblionet - The World in My Library, Romania
Biblionet is a six year national program which provided hardware, software and IT support for 2,280 public libraries. Biblionet established training centres within each of Romania’s 41 county library systems, as well as regional training centres (RTCs) in five county libraries. It also developed local abilities to design and deliver content in person and online based. The Biblionet program transformed Romanian public libraries into vibrant community hubs offering new services and 21st-century technology tools.
The main aim of the DigComping is to contribute to building the digital society by developing and validating the digital competences of Polish citizens. This was done through the development of a digital competence validation standard called European Computer Competence Certificate (ECCC), which is widely implemented in Poland. The standard is inspired by the European Digital Competence framework for Citizens.
#SuperCoders, Belgium, France, Italy, Poland, Romania and Spain
#SuperCoders is a programme organized by Orange Group to introduce coding to children aged 9 to 13. By the end of 2016, the programme, which has been running since 2014, will have reached more than 6.000 children in 17 European and African countries. Free coding workshops are taking place in different countries throughout the year, facilitated by volunteer Orange coaches and partner associations.
Una vita da social, Italy
A touring educational campaign organised by the Italian National Police in collaboration with the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research. The Una Vita da Social campaign aims to foster awareness for the prevention of risks and dangers related to the use of Internet, with particular focus on social networks. The touring truck equipped with a multimedia teaching room toured all over Italy to meet students, parents and teachers to discuss online safety.
Category 2: Digital skills for the labour force
Crescere in Digitale, Italy
Crescere in Digitale is an Italian-based initiative implemented by the Ministry of Labour and Social Policies, in partnership with the Italian Chambers of Commerce and Google, financed by the National Operational Programme Youth Employment Initiative. The project offers training and traineeships for young people in order to support businesses in the digital economy. The programme offers 50-hours of free online training offered to all Italian young people not in education, employment, or training who are registered to the Youth Guarantee Programme, managed by the Managing Authority of the Ministry of Labour; an online test where graduates are selected for a traineeship; local job matching to match graduates with SMEs; and a 6 months paid traineeship for each of the selected young people.
eSkills for Jobs Bulgaria – partnership with the National Employment Agency, Bulgaria
eSkills for Jobs Bulgaria stemmed from a clear need to train the labour mediators from labour offices on how to handle information re-skilling and up-skilling opportunities. Thanks to this pilot, all labour offices throughout Bulgaria provide information about all current training sessions and courses in the field of information and communication technologies, conducted by the leading companies in the sector. This became possible thanks to the good partnership between the Bulgarian Employment Agency and the Bulgarian Association of Information Technologies (BAIT) within the European Commission initiative eSkills for Jobs.
Growth Engine for Europe, all 28 EU Member States
Growth Engine for Europe is Google's program designed to help individuals and businesses succeed online. The digital skills training program is delivered through both online and offline training in all 28 Member States. Digital Workshop, an online learning platform, provides each visitor with a plan that is specifically tailored to the gaps in their knowledge and desired learning pace. The Growth Engine skills offline programs address local economical and societal challenges through the development of partnerships within local ecosystems and with multiple levels of government.
Samsung Digi Pass. Ready for the Future, Estonia
Samsung Digi Pass is a free of charge digital and life-skills training programme for vocational school students aged 14 to 19 in Estonia. The strategic aim of the programme is to reduce youth unemployment and to increase the number of high-level professionals in various sectors. In the 5-month training programme youngsters acquire the digital and social competencies that will make them valuable employees in the future. Additionally, all participants have a real hands-on work experience – in teams they are developing digital projects, such as apps and online platforms, and getting insight in the life of work with the help of specialists in the relevant field.
Category 3: More and better trained ICT professionals in Europe
Code For All, Portugal
Code For All is addressing the problem of skills mismatching and shortage of ICT developers through two vectors: generalising programming education in schools for 6 to 17 year old students and training adults in programming languages where there are the most urgent staff shortages. This application is focused in the Code for All Adult's bootcamps. Between 2015 and 2016, 5 bootcamps for unemployed people took place.
“ICT Professionals”, Spain
The ICT Professionals initiative, managed by FTI – Fundación Tecnologías de la Información, the Foundation of AMETIC (the Spanish Association of Electronics, Information and Communications Technologies, Telecommunications and Digital Content) for ICT training, has been running for 13 years. The overall purpose of FTI’s programme is to get people out of unemployment and to support their insertion into the job market. It does this by training unemployed people in the digital skills needed to meet the demand of ICT companies and, once trained, manage the insertion of these trainees into full time employment in the ICT industry.
IT Talents Training camp, Bulgaria
IT Talents Training Camp is an intensive education program for software development beginners. The candidates go through a selection process divided in several steps including two logic tests and an interview by HR. The students who successfully complete the course are offered a career opportunity immediately after the graduation – a full-time job in one of more than 60 Bulgarian IT companies. The company establishes lasting relationships between companies and junior programmers, responding to the continuous shortage of qualified IT professionals. The education is free, while the partner companies cover the costs of the training of the hired students.
PROMPT – Professional Master in Software Engineering, Sweden
PROMPT is an educational initiative in cooperation with several academic parties and leading industrial companies and organizations. Together the parties develop advanced level courses in web-based format, tailored to fit professional engineers and software developers who need to be able to combine work and studies. The courses combine conventional studies with distance, web-based learning and seminars at campus or at the participating companies. The long-term goal of PROMPT is to guarantee the supply of advanced software competencies and innovativeness in industry.
Category 4: Digital skills in education
Coding camp for economically disadvantaged children, Hungary
Elisabeth camps are organised yearly during the summer vacation for economically disadvantaged children in three different premises in Hungary: at lake Balaton in Zánka and Fonyód and in Transsylvania, in Ivó. The camps are financed by the Elisabeth programme of the Hungarian government. The parents of the participating children contribute to the camp only with a symbolic fee. As part of the Elisabeth programme, the ICT Association of Hungary (IVSZ) organised a one-week coding camp in July 2016 for 75 8-12 year olds. A further 150 children took part in this coding camp during a day visit. For all summer camps IVSZ organised one-day digital skills workshops.
Coding Masters, Poland
Coding Masters is a nationwide initiative aimed to bring programming classes to schools throughout Poland. More than 1,700 Polish schools are currently involved, which makes it the largest education initiative of this kind. Almost 3,500 teachers and 150,000 students have joined the Coding Masters program since 2013. The program is run by a Non-Governmental Organization. The Coding Masters benefits from the financial support of Samsung Electronics Poland.
ProgeTiger programme/ProgeTiiger programm 2014-2017, Estonia
Information Technology Foundation for Education (HITSA) and the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research has founded the ProgeTiger programme as a supportive initiative for educational institutions. The main goal of the ProgeTiger programme is to enhance learners’ technological literacy and digital skills. The programme is directed for preschool, general and vocational education, for all Estonian teachers, educational institutions and learners. Initially the programme was started as a programming initiative, focusing primarily on teaching programming to students. Soon, we realised that not only programmers are needed for our IT enhanced economic growth and we developed the programme to be a wider technology education programme, to support wider range of IT skills needed for future, both in jobs and in life in general. Today the ProgeTiger programme focuses on activities related to integration of three thematic fields - engineering sciences, design and technology (D&T), and information and communications technology (ICT) – into the teaching and learning of different subjects and extracurricular activities.
Programma il Futuro, Italy
The Italian Ministry of University, Education and Research (MIUR) and CINI – Consorzio Interuniversitario Nazionale per l’Informatica (a consortium made up of all Italian research universities active in Informatics) agreed in March 2014 to launch the three-year “Programma il Futuro” project (PIF) to change the way informatics is taught in primary and secondary Italian schools, so as to enable their transition into the future digital school, as foreseen by the teaching reform recently approved by the Italian government.
About the competition
This is the first Digital Skills competition. Nominations opened on 3 October and 258 applications were received by the deadline on 30 October. The 16 finalists were selected by the European Commission and the Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition secretariat, who assessed the impact attained by the project, the synergies between the different stakeholders involved, the scalability and replicability of the initiative as well as the effectiveness of the project. An independent jury composed of Paul-Andre Baran, Digital Champion Romania, Professor Hugues Bersini, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Frits Bussemaker, CIONET and Sebastiano Toffaletti, European DIGITAL SME Alliance chose the four winners. Mr Baran did not vote in the 1st category as he is a former Director of Biblionet – one of the finalists.