14 Nov 2013

First EU e-Inclusion map measures the potential for improved digital literacy

Using a computer and common office software has almost become a necessary skill to access the job
Using a computer and common office software has almost become a necessary skill to access the job market in the 21st century.
© Jakub Krechowicz (stock.xchng)

An EU-27 survey of intermediary organisations operating on the education, social and employment sectors and providing IT training has produced a first ever assessment of the e-Inclusion intermediary sector. It accounts for a total of 250,000 organisations, or one e-Inclusion actor per every 2,000 inhabitants. One in two employs 10 staff or less and operates on a budget smaller than €100,000. Half of the e-Inclusion actors go further and offer employment–related training. And for two out of three, local government funding is the main financial resource.

Using a computer and common office software has almost become a necessary skill to access the job market in the 21st century. Understanding the sector which provides digital training outside formal education can help policymakers to shape guidelines for a more inclusive labour market, one of the main goals of the European Commission's Europe 2020 Strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. In March 2013, the European Commission launched a Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs, an EU wide multi-stakeholder partnership helping to address a shortfall in the number of European citizens with ICT professional skills and to exploit the employment creation potential of ICT.

The study "Mapping e-Inclusion actors in EU27" was carried out in co-operation with Telecentre-Europe and the University of Washington Information School. It surveyed nearly 3,000 organisations from the public, third and private sector, which play a central role in fighting digital exclusion and developing employability. The study examined the way e-Inclusion actors operate, looking at programmes and the services they provide, their funding, target groups and users data collection. The results feed into a larger project – known as MIREIA – conducted by JRC and the Commissions' Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content & Technology. MIREIA stands for "Measuring the Impact of e-Inclusion Actors on Digital Literacy, Skills and Inclusion goals of the Digital Agenda for Europe"