Commissioner Mariya Gabriel presented the 2018 European Digital Skills Awards to five extraordinary projects which are helping improve Europeans’ digital skills.

From teaching seniors to work with digital technologies to empowering students to spot online disinformation - the winners of the European Digital Skills Awards 2018 are shining examples of how to improve digital skills across society. They are best practices from which other European digital skills initiatives can learn.

264 projects competed in the 5 categories of this year's awards. A jury composed of 9 members from the Governing Board of the Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition selected the winners. The winners received their awards from Commissioner Mariya Gabriel at the ICT2018 conference in Vienna on 6 December.

The winners are:

1/ Digital skills for all – Digital Senior (Norway)

Comment of the Jury: The winning project managed by the Norwegian Red Cross puts the spotlight on the part of our society that needs to catch up most in digital skills – the older generation. It brings digital skills to 'seniors' that have almost no digital experience when it comes to the use of everyday technology. After 10 weeks of training the participants can master a tablet, can use and understand email, camera, video chats as well as two apps of their own choice.

2/ Digital skills for the labour force – Coding Bootcamp Praha (Czech republic)

Comment of the Jury: The winning initiative supports people who are motivated to change their careers from traditional businesses to IT. This bootcamp offers coding education focused on web development. The quality of the training programme is ensured by an industry-tested curriculum, learning by doing, and solving real-world problems. The programme is also unique because it offers a "Job Guarantee" scheme. 90% of graduates successfully land a relevant industry job within two months upon their graduation.

3/ Digital Skills for ICT professionals - Data analytics learning framework at Airbus (France, Germany, Spain, UK)

Comment of the Jury: This project is a solution for one of the biggest challenges going forward: re-training the current workforce. It includes all functions across the entire company – also non-tech ones, such as human resources and finance, and it includes subsidiaries of SME size. The learning framework relies on both digital and community learning, which allows flexibility for each participant to learn and leverages on the collective intelligence of the group of trainees. Senior management, notably the Digital Transformation Officer and Human Resources of Airbus, provide an important support to this initiative.

4/ Digital skills in education – Lie Detectors (EU-wide)

Comment of the Jury: This project is an original NGO initiative, which tackles the important issue of digital disinformation. It prepares school children aged 10-15 to become powerful critical thinkers. It also empowers teachers to build their confidence in addressing the issue of digital news literacy. More particularly, the project associates various stakeholders and brings together journalists, teachers and students. Journalists receive training to deliver interactive sessions in classrooms to the children and to provide further teaching material to teachers. The project is already active in Belgium and Germany, and very soon in Austria, with quite a lot of interest expressed by other countries.

5/ Digital skills for girls and women - #Hackeuses (France)

Comment of the Jury: This initiative embodies several criteria important to the jury. It’s an organization that is pan-European and it takes advantage of both national and European funding to pursue and develop its mission. It’s a female effort focused and therefore representing a key best practice in increasing participation of girls and women in the digital economy. Additionally, the initiative is multi-generational and therefore also engages women with work and life experience whose leadership is critical for building an inclusive and sustainable, digital society.

The 5 winners and the 19 remaining shortlisted finalists got a chance to pitch their projects at ICT2018 and meet Europe’s tech community.

About the Digital Skills Awards

The European Digital Skills Awards aim to recognise outstanding initiatives that have improved the digital skills of Europeans at school, at work, for ICT specialists, for girls and women and in society in general. When selecting the winners the expert jury focuses on stories which could be easily replicated in other countries, scaled-up across Europe or which could serve as role models.

The Commission has organised the Awards every year since 2016 with the support of the Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition. The results of the previous editions: 2016, 2017.