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Digital Agenda: Overview

Advanced Digital Skills

The European Commission is promoting various initiatives aimed at increasing training in digital skills for the workforce and for consumers; modernising education across the EU; harnessing digital technologies for learning and for the recognition and validation of skills; and anticipating and analysing skills needs.

Digital Skills in 2021 and beyond

The new Digital Europe Programme, with a budget of €600 million dedicated to advanced digital skills, will expand the digital talent pool with around 256,000 people who will be able to deploy the latest technology in business throughout Europe. It will focus on three types of actions:

  1. Master's Programmes in cutting-edge digital technologies developed together with EU excellence centres in artificial intelligence, cyber and high-performance computing. The aim is to offer 160 new master programmes training 80,000 digital specialists.
  2. Short-term specialized training courses in advanced digital technologies for around 150,000 job seekers and employed people especially in SMEs. The aim is to equip them with the competences that will enable the deployment of digital technologies across all sectors of the economy.
  3. 35,000 job placements in companies or research centres where advanced digital technologies are developed or used. The aim is to give people the opportunity to learn specialists' skills working with the latest available technologies.

The European Social Fund Plus will support EU Member States to improve the quality, effectiveness and labour market relevance of national education and training systems to support the acquisition of key competences, including digital skills. It will also promote upskilling and reskilling opportunities for all, placing a particular emphasis on digital skills.

The European Global Adjustment Fund will support training, which will all have a digital skills component, to help laid-off workers find another job or set up their own business.

Erasmus+ will support digital learning from early childhood to vocational education and university education. It will also continue to support the acquisition of digital skills through cross-border experiences.

Horizon Europe will finance grants for master, PhD and post-graduate research activities in all fields including digital through Marie SkÅ‚odowska-Curie actions as well as the European Institute of Innovation & Technology.

The Recovery and Resilience Facility strongly encourages Member States to include in their plans investment greater support to the development of digital skills.

European Skills Agenda and the Digital Education Action Plan

The new European Skills Agenda underlines the importance of lifelong learning, lays down objectives for the skills for jobs in the digital and green transitions and it mobilises companies, social partners and organisations to take meaningful actions.

Making education and training fit for the digital age is the aim of the Digital Education Action Plan (2021-2027). It calls on Member States and stakeholders to work together to ensure a high-quality, inclusive and accessible digital education in Europe. The Action Plan has two long-term strategic priorities. The first focuses on supporting the development of a high-performing digital education ecosystem, by for example supporting Gigabit connectivity of schools and digital transformation plans at all levels of education and training. The second priority focuses on enhancing digital skills and competences, by for example developing guidelines for teachers to foster digital literacy and tackling disinformation as well as targeting advanced digital skills development through Digital Opportunity Traineeships.