- European Get Online Week brings awareness to the importance of a digitally skilled workforce
The digital empowerment campaign, European Get Online Week, (aka GOW) will mark its seventh edition this year on 14-20 March. Thousands of non-formal education providers will get busy organising various activities in their communities to reduce the skills gap and promote Information and Communications Technology (ICT) jobs. The campaign runs at libraries, community centres, schools and nonprofits across Europe every March.
It began in 2010 through Telecentre Europe, an NGO representing digital inclusion organisations across Europe, European Get Online Week aims to get more people online and digitally skilled. GOW was inspired by the campaign with the same name ran by UK Online Centres in the UK. It is the occasion to celebrate the work done every day by many non-profits who put forth all their efforts to educate impoverished communities about the advantages of using the computer and the Internet. Thanks to the campaign, more than 100,000 people have use of the Internet for the very first time.
While before I had to rely on hearing about job vacancies by chance and from neighbors I was amazed to discover a wide range of job-search sites in my own language. I have even signed-up for my first IT course in our local telecentre and I hope to be able to support this great event in the future. It sure opened my eyes!
-Alexandra Tudor, a 44-year old unemployed from Romania.
Related articles: “CAN DIGITAL COMPETENCE SAVE YOUTH FROM UNEMPLOYMENT?“
In the Photo (above): Get Online Day in Serbia back in 2010. Photo: Telecentre Europe.
With 825,000 unfilled ICT vacancies predicted by 2020, GOW is an important initiative for the industry to tackle high rates of unemployment. Since its take-off, leading tech and telecommunications companies Microsoft and Liberty Global are among the earliest and staunchest supporters, and Cisco has hopped on board this year as well.
“Not everyone is up to speed when it comes to digital skills yet. A third of Europe’s workforce has low or no digital skills,” said the Campaign Manager at Telecentre Europe Laurentiu.
For the second year running GOW is also part of an eSkills for Jobs campaign by the European Commission. GOW partners will run special activities to target youth and unemployment to raise awareness about digital jobs and the set of skills required for these jobs.
In the Photo (right): Youngsters learn how to use tablets in Germany (2015). Photo: Telecentre Europe.
Get Online Week is so important because it takes action on [the] local level. So every telecentre, every public library, every school, every co-working space should become a learning space for digital skills.
-Alexander Riedl (Deputy Head of Unit, DG Connect) from the European Commission in a recent campaign launch in Amsterdam.
This year’s campaign activities will focus around two themes: trust and confidence, and skills for digital jobs. GOW 2016 will feature more than 4,000 events run by 29 partners in 27 countries. Previous editions of the campaign have already helped over 800,000 Europeans to gain relevant digital skills and improve their chances of finding a job.
Everyone is welcome to participate in a range of events in their countries: from training activities, to testing their own e-skills, to learning how to code, to gaining knowledge about data privacy online, to attending career events and workshops. It’s free and fun!
In the photo (left): Robotics battle with politicians and entrepreneurs in Estonia (2015). Photo: Telecentre Europe.
Check what is happening this week in your country: http://getonlineweek.eu/gow-in-your-country/