Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society, will outline her vision for future digital skills policy in Europe at the Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition Conference. The conference will also be the opportunity to celebrate the joint achievements of the Coalition in its first year and to highlight European Best Practices in the development of digital skills.

Logo of Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition showing graphic of Berlaymont building with European Flag and text European Commission - Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition

At the conference Commissioner Gabriel will launch the new Digital Opportunity scheme for traineeships in digital and present the European Digital Skills Awards 2017 for outstanding projects that have boosted the digital skills of Europeans.

The conference will include plenary panels on investments in digital skills and skills needed for the future as well as and host parallel workshops on digital skills for citizens, small and medium sized enterprises and for education.

The conference will stage an exhibition where winners and runners-up of the European Digital Skills Awards, as well as other digital skills best-practices, will be displayed.

Registration is now closed.


The plenary part of the conference will be webstreamed.

Draft conference programme

Download the conference programme below.

  • 9.00 Registration and coffee
  • 10.00 Welcome address by moderator Katrina Sichel
  • 10.05 Opening and introduction by Claire Bury, Deputy Director General DG Connect, European Commission.
  • 10.15 Panel: "The Digital Skills needed for the future" moderated by Claire Bury, Deputy Director General DG Connect, European Commission.

    Digitisation is radically transforming the economy and the workforce: job profiles are changing, some jobs are becoming obsolete, and skills mismatch becomes more visible. The panel discussion will focus on the digital skills that are increasingly needed in the workplace and in general in society. To do so, representatives of international associations and enterprises will share their assessment of needs in various sectors, as well as the strategies that are being put in place to face the skills shortage and mismatch. 

    Speakers in this panel:

  • 11.00 Keynote speech and launch of the Digital Opportunity traineeship scheme by Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society
  • 11.15 Experiences from students who have done traineeships in digital
  • 11.30 Presentation: Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition Governing Board
  • 11.35 European Digital Skills Awards 2017 awarded by Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society
  • 12.30 Networking lunch
  • 14.00 Interview with Juliette Jarry, Vice-President for digital of the region Auvergne Rhône-Alpes and Ibrahim Ouassari, co-founder of MolenGeek
  • 14.15 Panel: "The future investments needed in digital skills", moderated by Katrina Sichel

    Relative to earlier industrial revolutions, the digital revolution is unfolding over a shorter time period and the adjustment process needs to be faster. The panellists will discuss current and future digital skills gaps and possible solutions to address these gaps, also maximising the effect of EU investment. They will speak about the role of the EU, of the Member States and of the private sector and reflect on how synergies among these interventions can be achieved.

    • Speakers in this panel
      • Martina Dlabajova, Member of the European Parliament, Vice-chair of the Committee on Budgetary Control and Member of the Committee on Employment
      • Alexa Joyce, Director of Policy, Teaching & Learning, Microsoft Corp.
      • Dr Olaf Manuel Maennel, Tallinn University of Technology, chair of the sub-Working Group on Education & Training within the EU cPPP on Cybersecurity
      • Oliver Roethig, Regional Secretary UNI Europa
      • Thierry Siraut, SAP University Alliance Country Manager Belgium - Luxembourg SAP
  • 15.00 Parallel interactive workshops:
    1. Digital skills for digital citizens - importance, challenges and best practices moderated by Carolina Corvo Carvalheira, Innovation Team Member at Enactus EUR:
      The Digital Skills for Digital citizens workshop will focus on building a digitally inclusive society. We will reflect on how citizens can become digitally literate to face some of the challenges linked to, for example, the rapid digitalization of services in public and private sector – libraries, finance and banking, e-services – hazardous online activities and online propaganda (fake news). In order to address these challenges adequately citizens need digital skills, such as media literacy, online self-protection, and appropriate behaviour towards digital technology use.

      In the workshop we will discuss the role of public authorities as well as the industry in bringing the digital literacy to citizens. We will also consider how digitally excluded groups could be better integrated in the society. And last but not least, we will share best practice examples of projects boosting digital inclusion of citizens.

      Speakers in this workshop

      • Paolo Celot, Director and Secretary General, EAVI European Association for Viewers Interests
      • Ilona Kish, Programme Director, Public Libraries, Reading and Writing Foundation
      • Kristi Kivilo,  CEO, Vaata Maailma SA, Look@World Foundation
      • Camille Meier, Responsable Grands Projets, , Refugeeks, Hackeuses!
      • Sara Van Damme, Program manager Digitaal.Talent@Gent; Representative of All Digital, pan-European association on Digital Skills
    2. Reskilling small and medium enterprises (SMEs) for the digital transformation: opportunities, challenges and success stories moderated by Domingos Miguel Folque Guimarães, Digital Champion of Portugal.

      Digitisation offers may new opportunities for employment and growth. However to reap these rewards it is necessary to also address it changes. One such challenge is of reskilling the adult population to be able to adopt and use digital technologies in enterprises. In Europe around 37% of labour force participants do not have even basic digital skills and companies lack the more advanced specialised skills need for successful adoption of digital technologies. In Europe 99% of all businesses are small and medium-sized enterprises, accounting for 67% of employment and 57% of value added. In fact most, 93%, are micro enterprises, employing less than 10 people. But small and medium enterprises (SMEs) lag behind in the adoption of digital technologies and there is a need to convince managers and workers of the gains to be had from investments in digital. Therefore, reskilling is very much an issue for SMEs. The workshop will address the issue of reskilling SMEs for digitisation, looking at the incentives to reskilling, the main challenges to be overcome and how to make it happen.

      Speakers in this workshop

      • Lorenza Badiello, Head of the Regional Office, Region of Emilia-Romagna
      • Olivia-Kelly Lonkeu, Senior Advisor - Economic development & innovation, PwC
      • Dag Rende, CTO, FindOut
      • Malin Rosqvist, Research project manager, RISE SICS Västerås – PROMPT- Professional Master in Software Engineering
      • Martin Törngren, Professor in Embedded Control Systems
    3. Digital skills for education - Learning for tomorrow moderated by Katrina Sichel

      The rapid technological improvements in the last decades have helped develop web technologies, brought various new online services and unlocked many new job possibilities. More than ever digital skills are essential for young people in order to take advantage of these opportunities and play a key role in the evolution of the digital economy. Like reading and writing, digital skills are becoming a necessity in everyday life. Yet today 44% of the adult population in Europe have low levels or no digital skills. Addressing digital skills in formal and informal education is the first step in a life-long learning approach, contributing to confidence and competences for life. At the Digital Skills for Education workshop we will discuss how the education system can best prepare young people for the future

      Speakers in this workshop

      • Alessandro Bogliolo, Professor University of Urbino, EU Code Week coordinator, Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition Governing Board
      • Charlotte Clarke Hesselgren, teacher at the Sankt Annæ Gymnasiums Grundskole in Denmark
      • Karen Boers, BECode, co-founder & Managing Director of, the owner & CEO of Boers & Peusens BVBA and Board member & CEO of European Startup Network
      • Andrea Gerosa, Founder Think Young
      • Gabriela Ruseva, All Digital
  • 16.30 Wrap up and way forward by Gerard De Graaf, Director, DG Connect, European Commission
  • 16.45 Networking drink


To tackle insufficient digital skills amongst European citizens, in December 2016, the European Commission launched the Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition, one of 10 priority actions of the New Skills Agenda for Europe. The Coalition currently has over 300 members who all play a role when it comes to tackling digital skills gaps in Europe. Members are companies in the ICT sector as well ICT using sectors, such as banking, health and clothing. Social partners, education establishments, training providers and civil society organisations are also members.

Until now more than 80 organisations have pledged to take action to equip all Europeans with the digital skills needed to live, work and participate in the digital society.

European Commission, DG Connect

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