20 May 2021 marks the public release of the Digital Skills and Jobs Platform – the home for digital skills in Europe and the go-to place for high-quality information, resources and community support on the topics of digital skills and jobs. It also includes training opportunities catalogue encompassing the Digital SkillUp initiative.
The go-live event, hosted by the European Commission, brought together policy-makers, National Coalitions, companies, associations, training providers, digital skills experts and other stakeholders to present the newly published Digital Skills and Jobs Platform and showcase its key features.
First, the audience heard from Deputy Director of DG CONNECT, Fabrizia Benini, who explained the reasons for developing the Platform and shared the Commission’s expectations that it will support Europeans in the future. Ms Benini mentioned that for a couple of years already, there had been a need to improve the knowledge-sharing on digital skills across Europe and to create a user-friendly tool that would gather all information on this topic in one place and provide much-needed clarifications.
At the same time, with its Digital Decade programme, the European Commission has ambitious targets for both basic and advanced digital skills.
"By 2030 (…) we expect to reach at least 80% of Europeans with basic digital skills and that 20 million [Europeans] will be employed as digital experts" - Ms Benini said.
The Digital Skills and Jobs Platform is an important community tool to reach these targets and get everyone involved.
Following Ms Benini’s keynote, speakers discussed the benefits that the Digital Skills and Jobs Platform can bring about for different stakeholders. Saskia van Uffelen, Coordinator of the Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition Belgium, highlighted that the Platform “will help to bring everyone together to work on the awareness of the up- and reskilling needs”, and will contribute to aligning the work on this topic across all Member States.
Mark Jordan, Chief Technologist at Skillnet Ireland, brought the SMEs perspective to the discussion. When asked about the challenges that small and medium companies face in terms of digital skills, he mentioned developing market strategies in the virtual world, issues with leadership skills and not having enough understanding of the skills needed for their operations and the technologies that would let their businesses scale up and stay competitive. The Platform could be a meaningful tool to support SMEs in developing digitally, Mr. Jordan said.
Lastly, Megan Shaible, Chief Operations Officer at Reaktor Education, focused on the learning component of the Digital Skills and Jobs Platform. With the previous experience of creating the Elements of AI and Digital SkillUp courses, Ms. Shaible emphasised:
Emerging technologies are important for businesses to remain competitive in the future, but they are also critically important for European citizens to upskill and reskill themselves, and to think about the future of work.
Accessible training opportunities provided through the Platform – just like Digital SkillUp – lower the entry barrier to the topics that would otherwise be difficult for many people, she said, making it easier to include everyone in the digital upskilling process and ensure that those without a technology background are not left out of the digital revolution.
The Digital Skills and Jobs Platform seems to be off to a great start to empower Europeans on the topic of digital skills in various ways. We are hopeful and look forward to seeing how the Platform and its Digital Skills and Jobs Community will grow in the future.
Missed the Digital Skills and Jobs Platform Go-Live Event? You can rewatch it here!