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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 24 January 2014

European Commission joins forces with companies to deliver over 250,000 extra training courses and thousands of new digital jobs

European Commission President José Manuel Barroso and Vice President Neelie Kroes brought CEOs from across the global economy together at the World Economic Forum in Davos today to expand a successful year-old coalition that is delivering digital training opportunities and jobs. The Davos Declaration, which was discussed today, foresees the creation of 100,000 additional traineeships by the end of 2015.

Since March 2013, 42 partner organisations have filled an extra 2,200 new digital jobs, 5,277 extra internships and apprenticeships and delivered training courses for an extra 269,000 people, fulfilling pledges they made to the EU’s Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs. Partners include Cisco, Google, Microsoft, Oracle, Samsung, SAP, Telefonica, and a range of industry and civil society associations.

A key target in the 2014 expansion of the coalition will be the goods and retail sectors, which increasingly depend on workers with digital skills, including on shop and factory floors.

President Barroso said: “The Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs uses the economies of scale we have at the EU level to bring qualified people and innovative employers together. This is European integration in practice. I urge all those who have not yet joined up to seize this opportunity to help Europe drive the next ICT revolution."

Vice-President Neelie Kroes said: “I meet so many young people with initiative, who are desperate for opportunity. And I see companies in desperate need of workers with digital skills. The Coalition matches the two together, and helps thousands of people to build their lives. Changing lives is worth every minute and euro invested.”


  1. 11 grassroots Coalitions composed of local governments, local industry, employment services, educational and social actors are in development. National coalitions have already been launched in Lithuania, Romania and Poland; and initiatives are underway in Austria, Bulgaria, Italy, Greece, Latvia, Spain, Amsterdam Metropolitan Area, and the Basque Country;

  2. Two Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) for science and technology secondary school teachers are now available here;

  3. Microsoft will increase the number of internships by 50% over three years (reaching 13,500 in 2013-2015;

  4. The Council of European Professional Informatics Societies (CEPIS) has launched the e-Competence Benchmark, a tool to enable job-seekers and recruiters to match up their competences against what employers are looking for in a way employers find useful;

  5. The University of Piraeus in Greece is developing a one-stop-shop to map the needs of industrial companies , provide online courses (200 people trained so far), and offer matchmaking services for trainees;

  6. In Bulgaria, Telerik Academy has trained more than 7000 people via MOOCs;

  7. In Italy, Didasca, Banda Larga e Menti Acute, has trained 3000 people and 1100 teachers in better ICT skills;

  8. YouRock has crowdfunded a new employability platform for young people across Europe to use their existing online content creation activities as evidence of their latent skills and aptitudes.


In March 2013, President Barroso and Vice-President Kroes called on Europe's digital businesses, governments, training and education sectors to join together to help fill 900,000 digital job vacancies that are expected to open up by 2020. Pledges made in the first year of the Coalition mainly concern young people and students, and 68% of the pledges are either cross-border or pan-EU in scope. An Online Pledge Tracker allows you to follow the Coalition’s progress towards new jobs and skills.

    According to data provided by the pledgers themselves, progress as of December 2013 is as follows:

  1. Training: 269,826 training courses have been created and 5,277 of the 30,500 foreseen on-the-job traineeships have been created so far.

  2. Teachers: The Grand Coalition received pledges to train over 20,000 teachers and instructors; so far 1,272 teachers are in training.

  3. Jobs: 2,200 job-seekers have been matched up to unfilled digital jobs through the work of the Grand Coalition

Useful Links

A Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs

Davos Declaration on Digital Jobs

Hashtag: #jobs #wef14 #Davos #GC_EU

President Barroso’s website

Neelie Kroes' website

Follow President Barroso and Neelie Kroes on Twitter

Contacts :

Pia Ahrenkilde Hansen (+32 2 295 30 70)

Ryan Heath (+32 2 296 17 16)

Sarah Collins (+32 2 296 80 76)

For the public: Europe Direct by phone 00 800 6 7 8 9 10 11 or by e­mail

Annex – list of participants in the breakfast on the Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs, Davos, Switzerland, 24 January 2014

Chris Dedicoat President, EMEAR CISCO*

Brad Smith Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Microsoft International*

Jim Hagemann Snabe Co-Chief Executive Officer, SAP AG*

Jose-Maria Alvarez Pallete Global COO, Telefónica SA*

Sunny Lee President and CEO Europe, Samsung*

Marne Levine VP Global Public Policy, Facebook

Hans E. Vestberg CEO, Ericsson

Diederik Karsten Executive VP Europe, Liberty Global

Frans van Houten Chairman and CEO, Philips

Mark Spelman Managing Director, Accenture

Bryan Lamkin Senior Vice-President, Adobe

Christian Morales Corporate Vice President, General Manager Europe, Middle East and Africa, Intel

Marc Bolland Chief Executive Officer, Marks&Spencer

Eng Ângelo Paupério Executive Vice-President, Sonae

* Existing Grand Coalition pledgers

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