New Skills Agenda for Europe

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Telecentre Europe welcomes the adoption of the New Skills Agenda by the European Commission. Its aim is to ensure that people develop a broad set of skills from early on in life and to make the most of Europe’s human capital, which will ultimately boost employability, competitiveness and growth in Europe. 40% of European employers report that they cannot find people with the right skills to grow and innovate, while over 40% of the workforce lacks basic digital skills.

Telecentre Europe is a supporter and promoter of digital skills as essential skills for Europeans to boost employability, competitiveness and growth in Europe. That is why, we believe that digital skills are part of the basic skills everyone needs in today’s society, together with literacy and numeracy.

The Commission proposes an action plan formed by 10 actions to be taken forward over the next two years. Our network of telecentres is already an active player on some of the areas addressed by the actions. Here’s a quick preview on how Telecentre Europe can contribute to a successful implementation of the New Skills Agenda:

ACTION: A Skills Guarantee to help low-skilled adults acquire a minimum level of literacy, numeracy and digital skills and progress towards an upper secondary qualification.
Our members are representing non-formal education institutions and organisations across Europe. They work with adults to improve their digital skills. Telecentre Europe and its members have the capacities to promote and implement the Skills Guarantee at member states level.

ACTION: The “Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition” to support co-operation among education, employment and industry stakeholders.
In one of our position papers, one of the key recommendations was to launch a major initiative on Digital Skills, building over initiatives such as the Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs, which should have a more prominent role and leadership in the Digital Single Market strategy. We are glad to see this is part of the New Skills Agenda. Telecentre Europe was an active implementation arm of the Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs, coordinating the formation of Local and National Coalitions in Europe. We stand for the importance of multi-stakeholder partnerships that are working together on national level strategies to close the digital skills gap.

ACTION: A “Skills Profile Tool Kit for Third Country Nationals” to support early identification and profiling of skills and qualifications of asylum seekers, refugees and other migrants.
Telecentre Europe includes around 20,000 community ICT learning centres that create digital and social inclusion opportunities for migrants and refugees. Our network has a significant potential to do more and to support the integration of migrants and refugees by skills assessments and tailored training programmes.

We look forward to work with the European Commission and with other stakeholders in order to assure an effective and successful implementation of the New Skills Agenda.