Grand Coalition Pledgers Workshop

Brussels, October 3rd, 2013

The Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs (GC4DJ) Pledgers workshop was held on Thursday, October 3rd in the European Commission in Brussels. Our organisation Telecentre Europe had the honour of being the only pledger invited to make a presentation, which opened new paths of collaboration for our Local Coalitions!

Who are the pledgers?

Since its launch in March the Grand Coalition has grown to 40 pledges representing an array of stakeholders from industry, education, the non-profit sector and local initiatives. As revealed by a recent survey of the pledgers, most pledges come from the industry (17 corporations with their own pledges, 7 in partnership with professional associations) and they deal mainly with skills supply (i.e. training), with a small number of job opportunities initiatives (e.g. job placement, internships and apprenticeships). In terms of tools for the pledgers to use, the EC is preparing a “Pledge tracker” – an online tool where each pledger will have access to update their own data and progress and keep track of the pledges.

What was discussed? 

Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission in charge of the Digital Agenda, addressed the pledgers and focused her speech on the problem of youth unemployment re-stating the main goal in sight: “Europe needs jobs that are future oriented”. She underlined the fact that work on the pledges will be long-term but what really counts is “getting young trained people into the digital jobs”. After her speech three selected cases/examples of initiatives were introduced to her: The SAP Academy Cube, Oracle Academy and the YouRock project.

Some pledgers were concerned by the lack of funding and the difficulty to address the national or local governments with this in mind. VP Kroes encouraged the pledgers to prepare figures/business case showing the positive outcomes they plan to achieve and present it to their local or national governments. In her own words it is necessary to “tell them what you can do and by when”.

As a result of the workshop’s two interactive sessions that followed, a number of issues and needs were identified by the participants: questions of funding, GC4DJ branding, matchmaking between pledgers, ensuring impact and long-term sustainability among others.

The EC also presented the funding opportunities under their control that could help to achieve the GC4DJ goals: the GC4DJ Thematic Network (2014-2015), Erasmus+ Strategic Partnerships and others.

 Next steps

VP Kroes will highlight the GC4DJ at the upcoming European Council 24-25 Oct. In November  ICT2013 conference in Vilnius will hold  more activities around the Grand Coalition. Among those is in particular the launch of the Lithuanian Local Coalition bringing together 11 national partners, including ICT associations, universities and ministries.

More information:

Local Coalitions for Digital Jobs: presentation at Pledger’s workshop 03.10.13 from TELECENTRE EUROPE

Funding opportunities will be published here.

See Commissioner Kroes’ blog post.