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Get Online Week 2016: addressing Europe’s gap on skills and jobs
European Get Online Week (GOW) runs from 14 to 20 March 2016. Now in its seventh year this digital campaign encourages Europeans to use the internet and technology safely and with confidence. So take this chance to improve your digital skills and job opportunities.
GOW – supported by the eSkills for Jobs campaign and sponsorship from Cisco, Microsoft and Liberty Global – takes place annually at thousands of libraries, community centres, schools and not-for-profit organisations.
It is run by Telecentre Europe, which believes that non-formal training providers can play a key role in helping young people to gain modern digital skills or their first work experience.
‘Not everyone is up to speed when it comes to digital skills yet. A third of Europe’s workforce has low or no digital skills,’ notes Laurentiu Bunescu, Grant & Campaigns Manager at Telecentre Europe.
However, according to the Digital Agenda for Europe, in the near future 90% of jobs – in careers such as engineering, accountancy, nursing, medicine, art, architecture, and many more – will need a digital skillset.
Campaign in over 20 countries
GOW 2016 will feature more than 4 000 events run by some 25 partners, with activities targeting youth and unemployed. It aims to build on previous editions, which helped over 800 000 Europeans to gain relevant digital skills and improved their chances of finding a job.
The new campaign has two main interconnected themes. The first is ‘Trust and confidence’, addressing key policy actions under the Digital Single Market. Laurentiu adds, ‘Our partners aim to boost digital inclusion and build people’s confidence in using the Internet, through training, events and workshops on online identities, cyber-security, ICT skills and available tools.’
The second theme is ‘Digital jobs’, as part of eSkills for Jobs. According to Laurentiu, although 95% of Europe’s youth (age 16-24) are regular Internet users, only just over 53% have the necessary digital skills to get employed.
Organisations involved in GOW, nationally and locally, will provide training and support to young people and the unemployed, to boost their digital careers. They will also encourage SMEs to upgrade their employees’ digital skills.
The EURES Coordination Office is right behind this initiative, 'EURES Advisers are constantly working to help people move to wherever opportunities present themselves, and to enable employers to find the right staff for their vacancies. But for this to work, people need the qualifications that are in demand. There is no doubt that digital competence is high on the list.'
Under a new partnership with Cisco, GOW 2016 will aim to get at least 2 000 young people connected and skilled through the Cisco Networking Academy, an IT skills and career building programme. Ten national partners will support this initiative.
So if you want to see how digital skills can build your CV in the tourism, food or car sectors in Italy, or how Microsoft is running IT skills tests in Romania, or more about German workshops using YouRock, a multi-language networking tool, then take a look at European GOW 2016.
If you are interested in finding job opportunities in this domain, take a look at the European Online Digital Jobs Day, to be held in Scotland on 9 March 2016. Over the coming weeks the European Job Day website will have more information on who will be recruiting and what vacancies are on offer.
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