19 Oct 2018

DIGITALEUROPE hosted a roundtable: Digital skills for regions and cities

Just before the 16th European Week of Regions and Cities (EWRC), on 8 October 2018, DIGITALEUROPE organised a roundtable event: “Digital skills for greater competitiveness and innovation in regions and cities”. The gathering served as the official EWRC side event and aimed to explore the EU funding landscape for digital skills.

Even though the ICT enterprises (from startups to large multinationals) are one of the best employers on the market in terms of the salary attractiveness and career development, there is a lack of candidates who possess the right skills for offered positions. Public and private stakeholders across Europe have been doing a lot for the past years to bridge the digital skills gap, however, it seems not to be enough –the demand is ever increasing.

The EU funds and programmes can significantly influence the current situation. Therefore, the negotiations of the next long-term EU budget create a unique opportunity to ensure that the potential the EU funds and programmes have to help Europeans with acquiring digital skills, is recognised.

DIGITALEUROPE presented the ICT industry opinion and suggestions for how the EU funds can better support digital skills in our position paper. We discussed these topics with:

  • Alison Crabb, DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, the European Commission
  • Samia Ghozlane, La Grande École du Numérique, the French nation-wide training programme, see the key numbers for 2017 trainings provided by la Grande École.
  • Michiel Rijsberman, representing the Dutch regional authorities – Regional Minister of the Province of Flevoland and rapporteur ERDF and Cohesion Fund – opinion at the Committee of the Regions,
  • Christophe Dolinsek, from Cisco, provided the ICT industry views and reality check.

The debate was moderated by Izabela Milewska, Chair of the Digital Skills and Jobs Working Group, DIGITALEUROPE and Amazon Web Services.

We have learned inter alia that in the last EU semester for 21 Member States one of the recommendations was to bring closer the education and private market.

From now on, the decision-making process is in the hands of national, regional and local authorities. All DIGITALEUROPE Members can engage in this process with relevant stakeholders.

To learn more about this topic, please consult DIGITALEUROPE’s Position Paper on EU funding for digital skills in the next EU budget 2021-2027


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