European Commission launches New Skills Agenda to boost digital skills in Europe

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On 20 June, the European Commission organised its launch event for the New Skills Agenda for Europe, an initiative published on 10 June aiming at boosting digital skills across the EU for employability, competiveness and growth.

Among the actions proposed, a primary focus is on the development of digital skills among Europe’s current and future workforce. Concretely, the Commission launched two agendas to improve eSkills in Europe:

  • Skills Guarantee: allows low skilled adults to acquire a minimum level of literacy, numeracy and digital skills.
  • Revision of the Key Competences Framework: introduces core competences, including digital skills, in education and training curricula.
  • The “Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition” bringing together Member States and education, employment and industry stakeholders to develop a large digital talent pool and ensure that individuals and the labor force in Europe are equipped with adequate digital skills.

According to a European Commission study, 39% of European companies today report that they have difficulties finding suitably skilled ICT professionals. The lack of digital skills has also been pointed out by major e-commerce associations as one of the main challenges the sector is facing during the Global Ecommerce Round Table organised last 29 May by Ecommerce Europe together with the Ecommerce Foundation.

Ecommerce Europe believes that, in the near future, nearly all jobs will require some level of digital skills. ESkills are vital for Europe’s digital innovation and economic growth. With digital changing the way consumers shop, pay and expect their purchase to be delivered, the need for digitally skilled  labor is particularly vital to the growth of the e-commerce sector. As such, Ecommerce Europe has endorsed a number of eSkills initiatives by national e-commerce associations. Currently, there are national eSkills initiatives running in Belgium, Denmark, Portugal and Switzerland.

Next steps

As the voice of the European e-commerce industry, Ecommerce Europe welcomes the Commission’s initiative on eSkills. Ecommerce Europe is looking forward to working closely with the European institutions on bringing European workers’ skill set into the 21st century.

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