Telecentre-Europe (TE) supports the network of European public ICT learning centres (also called "telecentres") in municipalities, NGOs, libraries & education venues by fostering knowledge sharing and learning amongst its members & to increase the impact and effectiveness of the centres throughout Europe
The Spanish network of telecentres Guadalinfo and our partner organisation Telecentre.org are organising this Friday, March 7th in Andalucia, Spain an event on telecentres and innovation titled “SparkLAB Andalucía”.
Sponsored by the Spanish telecommunications giant Telefónica, the event is a continuation of the international SparkLAB initiative, a movement initiated by Telecentre.org, the International Telecommunication Union and The “Generalitat de Catalunya” to encourage the evolution of telecentres from their current status as public centres for ICT learning towards telecnetres as hubs for innovation, digital inclusion and entrepreneurship.
Who should attend or participate online?
The event is geared towards the telecentre community and beyond: those intrested in innovation-specifically in the field of social innovatiom, but also mentors, managers, government officals, NGOs…in short, all the actors with a stake in the future of the telecentre community around the world. The event is not limited in scope to Spain but also combines global phenomena, practical showcases and methodological analysis, with current trends and lessons learned.
Entrepreneuship, Creativity and Technology
Participants will have the chance to attend a number of streamed video conferences:
The last 50 years in Europe have witnessed the growth of an ageing population. Coupled with the integration of even more women into the work force, the phenomenon has left an employment gap in the home care sector, often filled with informal and non-declared work, mostly done by unskilled migrant female workers. But the situation has also brought opportunities for ICT to enter the home and provide new solutions to old problems.
In EU policy the care sector is a target of a number of European projects, with the “CareNet project” being one of them. The project partners held the final conference titled “ICT and e-skills for social care” this Wednesday February 26th in the Brussels Press Club. At the event a participative and enthusiastic group of civil society organisation representatives debated how ICT can help improve the lives of the projects’ two target groups: care workers and the elderly.
The conference was moderated by project officer Laure Llermet of the French-based Iperia Institute with Telecentre Europe acting as the host organisation in Brussels. For a full list of partners in the project please visit www.carenetproject.eu. Those interested in the conference will find the recording of the whole conference (it was streamed in Adobe connect) on the project website.
ICT skills concern not only the elderly but also their carers
ICT is only the enabler
The conference keynote was delivered by Ms. Marie-Beatrice Levaux from the newly created European Federation for New Family and Household Employment, who provided an inspiring overview of the many issues at hand. According to Ms. Levaux, the demand for adequate and flexible homecare solutions is on the rise: the sector has a potential to employ up to 20 million people by 2020 in the following years. However, many of the caregiver jobs will not be declared as such by their employers, and the profession itself is not sufficiently recognised by society. All of this causes carers to be excluded from opportunities to improve their skills. In that sense, both formal trainings and informal opportunities to engage carers in ICT competencies will surely constitute a step into the right direction. Ms. Nena Georgantzi, from the AGE platform, stated in her intervention that bringing ICT to the homes of the elderly and care recipients in general is not about “replacing carers by robots”- it is rather making sure that technology can do what it is best suited for, while the carer makes sure all the rest needs are being met. In that sense “ICT is only the enabler” of already existing processes and needs.
A participant adressing the panel at the conference
The CareNET project indeed addresses a very specific area of concern: the types of ICT skills which carers and the elderly would benefit from most in their daily life. Competencies that in the long run may influence for the better the quality of care received, the professionalization of care workers and the social inclusion of both groups into society. One of the results of the project has been to map the common and specific digital competencies of care workers and the elderly .
CareNET from theory to practice
The experience of the CareNET project in the different piloting countries has shown that older people and care workers can learn in a virtual learning environment (i.e. Moodle platform), that they are motivated to learn and that the carers are motivated to work and bring the best quality of care to their recipients. The piloting experience has also shown that each local context is different and has to be always taken into account when devising methodology and resources. More importantly, ICT – the hardware and software itself- have to be accessible, affordable in order to empower and remove barriers for social care.
A leader of another European project with the same topic and scope as the CareNET project, stressed that in the case of bringing ICT skills to the elderly it is very important to give them the chance to explain what they need and like doing, and only then bring about the concrete learning opportunities with the exact ICT skills that can fill their needs.Some participants also raised the question of who will pay for bringing the technology to the elderly, as the majority of the elderly in Europe cannot afford the technology.
Another speaker reminded the audience hat the needs elderly have are not only related to problems and health, but also to the basic need of having fun and being included in social activities with others, be they presential or at a distance. Someone also suggested to bring the beneficiaries of the projects themselves- the elderly and the caretakers- to conference and workshops on the topic in order to review research from a practical standpoint.
Supported by a unique network of NGOs, youth organisations, businesses and social activists in all parts of the world as well as with its strong ties to governments and academic institutions, the WSYA reaches out in over 169 UN member states to select and promote best practice projects developed by young people under the age of 30.
The six categories of the WSYA are tied directly the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) encouraging the next generation of creative developers and digital entrepreneurs to tackle global challenges such as ill-health, gender inequality, lack of education, lack of access to clean water and environmental degradation.
Highlight of the contest is the WSYA Winners’ event. Offering numerous networking opportunities and a platform to exchange know-how and creative ideas this event is designed to celebrate the winning projects and give them a new drive.
Anybody from any country around the world younger than 30 can participate in the contest xxx. The intention of the contest is to find the best projects that show how ICT is an enabler to achieve the UN MDGs. The main criteria is for candidates to be younger than 30 years old (born after January 1, 1984), with a project that should fit into one of the WSYA Categories. The project itself can be in any language. The Application has to be in English as the Jury has to understand what the project is about to be able to evaluate it properly. Closing date for applications is July 17th 2014.
Our well known campaign titled Get Online Week (GOW) will take Europe this March 24-30th.
Telecentre Europe is expecting around 5000 ICT learning centres – in 30 countries across Europe – to open their doors and support thousands of people to get ICT training, certification and/or access to digital jobs.
In 2014, the main focus of the GOW will be on employment and digital jobs, consistent with the policy and industry efforts to reach higher employment rates and to better match the eSkills supply and demand. This year the Get Online Week is embedded into the eSkills for Jobs campaign led by the European Commission.
By mid-February, the campaign will have a new visual identity and an improved website that will be available at the same URL: www.getonlineweek.eu. By then, we should also have most of the national partners confirmed and can give you more info on what activities will take place in the different countries.
If you are interested to learn more about the campaign, or how you can get involved, please contact us.
The Microsoft centre is a modern and spacious building, which opens the doors to a new era of collaboration between Microsoft and its stakeholders for the benefit of Europe’s youth.
Telecentre Europe was one of the invitees to the Grand Opening of the Microsoft Centre in Brussels earlier this week. The event served as the official opening of the Microsoft centre to young people in Brussels who will be its main beneficiaries, but also to stakeholders from the Brussels arena: non-profit European associations, High-level Commission officials and others who have an interest in Microsoft YouthSpark in Europe and the challenging area of youth unemployment and e-skills mismatch.
The keynotes were given by the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso who addressed the audience through video, stating that job creation is the European Commission’s number one priority and “without ICT there is no innovation”. László Andor, European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion made the introductory speech referring numerous times to the high number of available jobs in the ICT sector.
The Brussels case
Minister of Economy and Employment in the Brussels-Capital Region, Céline Fremault also spoke at the event, which marked the occasion for co-signing with Microsoft a continuation of their fruitful collaboration agreement for three more years. Minister Fremaut said that in Brussels alone there are 3.000 ICT jobs available for young people that remain unfilled. With widespread unemployment among its youth, the Microsoft centre and initiatives will surely direct a number of Brussels youngsters into training and ultimately employment. The Microsoft Innovation Centre (MIC) already exists in Brussels since 2011 and is now integrated into the newly opened Microsoft centre. Microsoft Innovation centres are public-private partnerships focused on economic development that help the creation of companies in the technology sectors and accompany start-up development. Currently there are 30 MICs in Europe, with 4 of them in Belgium.
Brad Smith, Microsoft General Counsel and Executive Vice President made an inspiring speech and announced that next year Microsoft will create 9000 new paid traineeships openings in Europe. Mr. Smith also announced that Microsoft would continue providing grants to its three partner organisations from the non-profit sector, namely European youth forum, (FEJ), Junior Achievement-Young Enterprise (JA-YE) and our own organisation, Telecentre Europe.
Coding at a young age
The highlight of the event was the live connection to a primary school in Portugal where we saw pupils as young as 6 years old learn how to code. Their teacher stressed the importance of coding not only for their understanding of future ICT related challenges but also how this task encourages other soft skills such as collaboration and creativity- all incredibly important for the current and future technology-dependent workplace. Telecentre Europe member from Poland- FRSI offered a live connection with a group of teenagers in a public library, as part of the project led by FRSI called “ Link to the Future. Youth .Internet. Career”. There was a lively interaction between the remote locations and the event moderator. From 11:30 am to 12:30 the event hosted a live debate with a number of MEPs who answered video questions from European youth, live questions from the audience and social feeds.
by Masha Tarle, Communication, events and press @Telecentre Europe
Telecentre Europe will hold its annual General Assembly 2014 on February 18-19th in Riga, Latvia.All our members have already received a registration link and are urged to register as soon as possible. At the General Assembly we will approve and adopt formal documents such as the Annual report 2013 and Workplan 2014 and will also look into our new rebranding plans and agree on operational issues related to our current European projects and Campaigns like Get Online Week 2014, Local Coalitions and others.
The location for this year’s GA is Riga. It is also the home country of our Board President Dr. Mara Jakobsone and the organisation LIKTA, our active member from Latvia. Described as “ a friendly, trying to stay fit and fashionable” and “ representing a Western vibe in the Eastern Europe with a twist” Riga will surely offer a fine place to visit and meet each other.
The venue is the Tallink Hotel Riga (Elizabetes 24/1, LV-1050 Riga, Latvia). The GA meeting hours are: 18th of February: 15:00 to 18:00 and 19th of February: 09:00 to 17:00.
As we will start in the afternoon of February 18th and will continue until end the 19th, members are expected to arrive on February 18th in the morning and are advised to travel back on the 19th in the evening or next day. For any further information, do not hesitate to contact TE staff.