European GOW 2016 to boost people’s ICT skills and to support them in getting digital jobs

European Get Online Week (or simply GOW) is a digital empowerment campaign run at libraries, community centres, schools and non-for-profits across Europe every March. Next year on 14-20th of March GOW will encourage Europeans to use the Internet and technology in a safe and confident way to improve their digital skills, job opportunities, and their overall quality of life.

Themes & activities

The campaign will be organised around two main interconnected themes:

2_confused_adults1. Trust and confidence – addressing key policy actions under the Digital Single Market. While all services are increasingly designed as digital by default and the need for public services online is really strong, more than 70% of Europeans worry about their online personal data. Aimed at enabling more and more citizens to benefit of the increasingly advanced online services, Get Online Week will raise awareness about online identities, cyber-security, ICT skills and available tools so that European citizens become confident Internet users.

piekary_slaskie_learning2. Digital jobs – as part of eSkills for Jobs. While 95% of Europe’s youth (age 16-24) are regular internet users, a significantly smaller figure shows those that are equipped with the necessary digital skills to get employed (53.3% according to Skillage). Every job in ICT creates 3 more jobs elsewhere in economy, and with high unemployment rates, these jobs are crucial. Moreover, a third of Europe’s workforce have low or no digital skills, while 90% of the jobs in the near future will need a digital skillset. Get Online Week brings stakeholders together at national and local level to provide training and support to youth and unemployed towards digital careers. It is also important that SMEs are well informed about relevant ICTs to become digital and to do so they first need to upgrade the digital skills of their employees.

The campaign takes place in 20+ European countries. A variety of non-formal education providers such as telecentres, libraries, community centres and non-for-profits are the ones who organise thousands of various activities in their communities throughout the campaign week. Informative and educative events about digital identities, online behaviour, online safety and data privacy will be on the spotlight this year. Everyone is welcome to participate in a range of events in their countries: from training activities, to testing 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!

GOW since 2010

Since 2010, at least 60 organizations have been involved as national partners in 34 European countries. These organizations included between themselves over 15,000 community telecentres, reaching out to an estimated 800,000 Europeans (check GOW 2015 report here).

Part of eSkills for Jobs campaign

In 2016 GOW will be again one of the major milestones of eSkills for Jobs campaign from the European Commission. The activities will target youth and unemployed, being organized locally by telecentres, public employment services, youth organizations and SMEs, to raise awareness about digital jobs and the set of skills required for these jobs. Four Telecentre Europe members are supported to organize specific campaign activities in their countries (Italy, Spain, Greece, and Portugal).