CIONET is involved in a number of projects of launched by the European Commission. The most vital one is the Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs, launched by European Commissioner Neelie Kroes. CIONET is committed to support the initiatives of the Grand Coalition, by the dissemination of valuable information to our members, as well as leveraging our contacts with the IT community to support these initiatives.
Grand coalition for Digital Jobs
The role of information and communications technology (ICT) in raising productivity and living standards is critical. The largest obstacle to harnessing the power of ICT is the shortage of digital skills. While demand for ICT practitioners is growing by around 3% a year, the number of fresh ICT graduates and skilled ICT workers is not keeping up.
To address this problem the European Commission together with key stakeholders launched a Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs in March 2013. The Grand Coalition is a multi-stakeholder partnership that endeavours to help industry, education providers, and the public sector to collaborate to attract young people into ICT education and increase the supply of ICT practitioners in Europe. Actions such as industry-led training, encouraging cross-border mobility for ICT workers, certifying skills, modernising school and university curricula and raising awareness need the active engagement of all stakeholders at national level.
The Grand Coalition encourages stakeholders to “pledge” concrete actions. Pledges are concrete commitments by companies, universities, and other stakeholders to address the digital skills gap. In its first year the Grand Coalition has resulted in the creation of 2,200 new digital jobs, 5,277 extra internships, as well as creating training course positions for 269,000 people.
On January 2014, Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and Vice President Neelie Kroes expanded the Coalition at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, by inviting companies including Microsoft, Cisco, Samsung, Oracle and SAP to join the Coalition. The companies were invited to endorse the so-called Davos Declaration, which foresees the creation of an additional 100,000 internships and traineeships in the private sector across Europe by the end of 2015.
The Grand Coalition is also an action that supports the legislative package for a “Connected Continent: Building a Telecoms Single Market” aimed at building a connected, competitive continent and enabling sustainable digital jobs and industries, which was adopted on 11 September 2013.
The Grand Coalition helps to accelerate and intensify efforts initiated by European policies, such as the Digital Agenda for Europe, the e-Skills Strategy, the Employment Package, the Opening up Education Initiative, the Rethinking Education Strategy, the Youth Opportunities Initiative, and the EU Skills Panorama.
For more information about the Grand Coalition, see: http://ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda/en/grand-coalition-digital-jobs or read the full online brochure:
The Secretariat of the Grand Coalition:
Over two years, the Secretariat will coordinate 13 organisations active in the IT, education and SME communities to boost the Commission’s programme through a five-pronged strategy for reducing the skills gap in Europe:
- ICT Training – promoting Europe-wide Student Placement Programmes with ICT employers and working with existing ICT training providers to improve their offering to students
- Mobility – identifying concrete, short-term solutions to increase the mobility of skilled EU workers across Member States to address the shortage of ICT practitioners
- Certification – strengthening ICT professionalism and foster recognition of ICT-related qualifications across EU Member states
- Awareness raising – disseminating the activities of the Grand Coalition through a dedicated awareness raising campaign
- New forms of ICT education – promoting the supply side for ICT jobs creation through more aligned educational schemes (e.g. MOOCS, closer links between education and careers) and stimulating structural change in educational systems.
The Secretariat will bring together stakeholders from the demand and supply side committed to bridging the skills gaps. These constituencies include Member States, the Commission, industry, academia and NGOs. The Secretariat will focus on action and local implementation. It will amplify successful local and national programmes and initiatives and seek to export these to other parts of Europe. It will build and promote National and Local coalitions to facilitate action towards enhanced digital skills at national, regional or local level.
Click here for more information about the Secretariat of the Grand Coalition.