As digital transformation brings socio-economic changes in the labor market, there is no doubt that education and lifelong learning will be critical to build workers’ resilience.
Ensuring that everyone can benefit from the economic opportunities in the new digital economy is a key priority. We know that skill building is essential to success in a changing world. Young people entering the labor force are digital natives, but we need new ways to reduce youth unemployment. Schools and programs should encourage the development of both technical and soft skills and empower people to benefit from the opportunities today’s digital world has to offer. We should consider expanding Erasmus opportunities to include work-based training – perhaps an “e-erasmus” – that could foster not only intercultural study exchanges but also skill transfers.
Both apprentices and experienced workers need to travel on a path to lifelong learning. The AI school that Microsoft opened in France is a model for what could be done. Similarly, LinkedIn Learning provides a means for people to bridge the gap between the skills they have and those they need in order to create new job opportunities for themselves.
But what does “digital revolution” mean for those who are not part of this transformation? In Europe, many rural areas still lack broadband access, thereby limiting their ability to thrive in a digital economy. Through our Microsoft Airband Initiative, combining new TV White Spaces technology with existing wireless solutions, we have demonstrated that lower cost solutions exist to deliver broadband quickly and efficiently to underserved areas. This solution can provide critical connectivity and productivity across Europe.
More on Digital Inclusion:
- Making an impact for STEM education in Europe
- EU Code Week 2018: thinking beyond digital skills
- Women in STEM: a cornerstone of Europe’s digital economy
More Five Ideas for Five Years chapters: