European Software Skills Alliance

The European Software Skills Alliance (ESSA) aims to skill, upskill, and reskill individuals into high-demand software roles across Europe. It sets forward a sectoral approach to software skills development for systemic impact — reducing the shortages of software skills and professionals.

Digital skills shortages are hampering the growth and competitiveness of companies across Europe. In 2017, more than half of EU enterprises that recruited, or tried to recruit, ICT specialists had difficulties filling their vacancies. The situation was particularly acute when it came to the advanced digital skills required for specialist ICT positions in Software Services.

ESSA delivers a European software skills strategy to address skill mismatches and shortages in the Software Sector and appropriate and future-focused training, qualifications and mobility solutions geared towards the realities and needs of the sector. The strategy is market demand-led at its core, continuously adapting and evolving to address current and future market needs in order to support growth, innovation, and competitiveness.

ESSA leverages the European e-Competence Framework (e-CF), a widely recognised standard for IT professionals, as a common reference point to identify the most relevant e-competences for software professionals (e.g., problem management, application design), the most needed software role profiles (e.g., developers, DevOps experts) and link them with the European Qualification Framework (EQF) and others. 


  • Develop a European Software Skills Strategy that builds on a market-oriented needs analysis. As a result, it will present a roadmap to close together the European software professional skills and roles gaps and foster concrete action at the local and European levels.
  • Design a VET Curricula & Programmes, Ready-to-Use Materials, and Accreditation & Certification Frameworks that provide a European and practice-proofed approach to address the identified software skills and roles gaps by skilling, upskilling and reskilling individuals.
  • Pilot the training programme (incl. the certification scheme) in different countries.
  • Nurture an ESSA Software Skills Community that aims to connect individuals who come together to answer the up- and reskilling needs of the software sector in Europe.

Visit the website at and follow ESSA on Twitter and LinkedIn.

This four-year project is funded by the European Commission under the Erasmus+ Programme.

ESSA Video
Visit the website and learn more about the project

For more information, please contact:
José Martinez-Usero
Director for Projects
Marie Montaldo
Senior Research and Innovation Manager
Hit enter to search or ESC to close
This website uses cookies
We use cookies and similar techonologies to adjust your preferences, analyze traffic and measure the effectiveness of campaigns. You consent to the use of our cookies by continuing to browse this website.