Cartoon of people with digital skills working in offices and talking to each other across giant clouds and on giant phones.
Image: © elenabsl/

EU steps up efforts to reach all citizens with digital education training

19 Apr 2023

The EU is piloting a European Digital Skills Certificate that recognises peoples’ tech skills and encourages them to seek training.

The European Commission has adopted two new proposals as part of its efforts to address challenges that European governments face when it comes to educating citizens on digital skills.

One of the proposals calls for all EU member states to ensure universal access for citizens to training in digital skills. The Commission believes this could be achieved by developing a cohesive framework for providing training to all citizens.

The other proposal focuses on ‘hard-to-reach’ groups that get left behind by existing digital training programmes.

It appeals to member states to begin offering training programmes for digital skills at an early age. It also recommends that governments make digital skills learning a priority for all adults across all levels of education. It believes this step will go a long way in alleviating the digital skills shortage.

The EU has declared 2023 as its European Year of Skills. The move includes efforts to overcome digital skills gaps and make the EU a leader in digital education.

“These proposals underline the need for everyone everywhere in Europe to have access to digital education. We need to do much better on digital skills and treat them with the same importance as reading and writing,” said Margrethe Vestager, executive VP for a Europe Fit for the Digital Age.

“The aim is to reach a target of at least 80pc of all adults as a minimum with basic digital skills, and 20m employed ICT specialists including a lot more women, by 2030.”

There are multiple plans and strategies in the works that fall under the umbrella of the European Year of Skills. One of these is a dedicated skills and jobs platform for Europeans.

Yesterday, a report by Finnish academics highlighted the need for the EU to create a people-centric, unified approach to cybersecurity education.

The European Commission also said yesterday (18 April) that it is going to run a pilot project to certify people with digital skills.

The European Digital Skills Certificate will be rolled out in 2024 based on the initial pilot’s progress. It will provide a basis for people across the EU to have their skills recognised by employers and training providers alike.

So far, Finland, Spain, Austria and Romania have all indicated their interest in participating in the pilot programme. The results of the pilot will be presented towards the end of this year.

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Blathnaid O’Dea
By Blathnaid O’Dea

Blathnaid O’Dea worked as a Careers reporter until 2024, coming from a background in the Humanities. She likes people, pranking, pictures of puffins – and apparently alliteration.

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