The European Digital Skills Awards 2023 saw a true and inspiring “European solidarity in action” as eight applications were submitted addressing Ukrainian refugees, to equip them with digital skills to either find employment in Europe, or to rebuild their country once the war will be over.
Most of the applications addressing Ukranian refugees come from bordering countries, such as Poland and Slovakia, but also European partnerships and Denmark participated by swiftly updating their local training programmes to open opportunities to Ukrainians.
These examples represent inspiring best practices on how resilient organizations and partnerships can quickly adapt to geopolitical disruptions and make a positive impact on the communities.
Besides the Joint Master Study Programme Ukraine – Slovakia developed by the Slovak National Coalition for Digital Skills and Jobs, here are all the applications received.
IVDK Hub for Ukrainians
The IVDK Hub for Ukrainians is an initiative led by the Danish Entrepreneurs association in collaboration with various Danish organizations, including academia and Digital Innovation Hubs. It aims to empower Ukrainian refugees in Denmark to start their own businesses and contribute to rebuilding Ukraine. The program provides tailored entrepreneurship training, workshops, and support. The initiative uses online learning and various channels to reach and support participants, and it has gained an impressive local media coverage for its impact and capacity building expertise.
Evening Digital Schools for Ukrainians
The Evening Digital School for Ukrainians is a Slovak initiative led by Ženský algoritmus (Female algorithm) aiming to provide digital skills training to Ukrainian refugees, particularly women and girls, across the European Union. The project offers in-person and online boot camps focused on digital literacy and various tech-related skills such as UX/UI design, project management, testing, SQL, data analysis, and programming. The program is designed to help refugees integrate into the local labor market and increase their job prospects. The Evening Digital School has made a significant impact by providing essential digital skills training to Ukrainian refugees and empowering them to build better lives in their new circumstances.
Directly from Ukraine, the Diia.Digital Education, is a governmental platform in Ukraine developed to enhance digital skills and literacy. It offers free online education and resources for various groups, including the elderly, students, professionals, and refugees. The platform aims to provide quality digital education for all Ukrainians, bridge the digital divide, and promote inclusivity. It utilizes AI, machine learning, and personalized learning paths, based on the European DigComp2.1 framework. The platform has over 1.5 million registered users, offers certifications, and focuses on accessibility, sustainability, and visibility.
Ukr Education Hub
The project Ukr Education Hub is a Central European Initiative supported by the International Visegrad Fund, and gather Ukrainian Education Hubs in the Visegard countries, namely Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, and Hungary. They offer free IT courses for Ukrainian refugees and IDPs in these countries, focusing on website development, graphic design, and web design. The project also gives the opportunity to the Hubs to consolidate their communities and favor cross-border collaboration and exchanges.
Humans in the Loop
Humans in the Loop is a social enterprise that provides digital training for refugees and conflict-affected individuals, operating through international partners in Iraq, Yemen, Ukraine, Lebanon, Portugal, the UK and Afghanistan. They aim to address the challenges faced by displaced people by offering comprehensive training in digital skills and facilitating remote work opportunities. The organization has trained and provided work opportunities to over 1,100 conflict-affected individuals, with a focus on empowering women. All their activities are conducted online, making them accessible to people regardless of their location.
Start IT. Cisco4Ukraine
Start IT. Cisco4Ukraine is an educational program developed by Cisco Networking Academy and the University of IT and Management in Rzeszów, Poland. It offers free online courses in cybersecurity and programming to Ukrainian refugees, with a focus on empowering women for tech jobs in support of the digital transformation. It alslo provides mentoring and career counseling, with the ultimate goal to creating a pipeline of talent and expand the program to other countries.
Last but not least, ITSkills4U, that is a project by Amazon Web Services (AWS) in partnership with the Governments of Ukraine and Poland and several training and business associations in the three countries. It aims to train Ukrainian refugees and internally displaced individuals in high-demand ICT and cloud skills. The project offers self-paced and instructor-led virtual training, with a focus on cloud computing.
Do you want to know who are the winners of the EDSA2023? Check them out!