The Bratislava Declaration calls for better digital skills across Europe to boost economy

The Bratislava Declaration calls for better digital skills across Europe to boost economy

Written by Bernadette Zerafa, eSkills Malta Foundation

Bernadette ZerafaMore than 200 policy makers, business leaders and experts have gathered in Bratislava, Slovakia on the 17th and 18th October 2016, to understand how digital technologies are transforming our lives at a pace never seen before.

The e-Skills for Jobs 2016 conference took place on 18th October 2016, under the patronage of the President of the Slovak Republic, Andrej Kiska. The impact on the way we live, learn and work has been revolutionary and this new age of information and our networked society continue to transform our entire way of being, both personally and professionally. This digital transformation relies on the availability of appropriate digital skills for all citizens, from the youngest to the oldest, as acquiring such skills will have a positive impact on finding jobs, reducing unemployment and integrating all citizens into the national life.

The event took stock of the e-Skills campaigns’ impact on developing the digital skills required to fuel the economy, jobs and growth in Europe. The large-scale campaigns have involved over 5,500 events in all Member States, attended by 3.4 million people. Multimedia campaigns targeting the young, professional and policy makers have reached millions of people and have contributed to promote digital careers.

The Director General of DIGITALEUROPE, John Higgins noted that “The European Commission has played a key role in bringing this issue of the digital divide to the fore. The national coalitions for digital skills and jobs will provide exceptional platforms to bring the digital landscape to the lives of all citizens. To help in this process, the ICT Industry, with the support of other stakeholders, is launching today the ‘Bratislava Declaration – Digital Skills Making the Difference’, which will guide its continued efforts to unlock the potential of e-skills to fuel growth and jobs creation.”

Key stakeholders in digital skills in Europe launched the Bratislava Declaration, calling for action to reduce digital skills gaps. The Declaration has been endorsed by a large number of international organisations from around Europe. Locally, eSkills Malta Foundation, MITA, MCA, Malta Enterprise and the Ministry of Education and Employment also endorsed the declaration.

The Bratislava Declaration calls for better digital skills across Europe to boost economy

The Bratislava Declaration sets out eight specific actions, each with a role for industry, Member States, and the European Commission. It will also guide our continued efforts to unlock the potential of eSkills to fuel growth and jobs creation.

The actions include namely the fostering of digital skills training programmes; the harnessing of industry-led education; the accelerating of the encouragement of labour mobility for digital jobs; the bolstering of national Digital Skills and Jobs Coalitions; raising awareness of the role played by key enabling technologies in the EU’s digital single market and the digital career opportunities available; fostering ICT professionalism and maturing the ICT profession in Europe; ensuring availability of EU funds dedicated to upskilling initiatives and training platforms at EU level and inspiring girls to pursue IT studies and careers and encourage better gender balance by promoting a stronger role of women.

‘Europe in the Digital era’ was organised by DIGITALEUROPE and European Schoolnet in collaboration with IT Association of Slovakia. It was the last in the series of events organised by the European Commission with EU Presidencies under the banner of the ‘eSkills Weeks’ (2010 and 2012) and ‘eSkills for Jobs’ (2014-2016) campaigns. You can read more information about The Bratislava Declaration on​