New technologies and digitisation represent a major shift for the labour market. Schools and training systems are still struggling to keep up in preparing young people adequately. Together with the European Policy Centre (a Brussels-based think tank on EU issues and policies) and Connecting Europe (a Stiftung Mercator initiative), StartNet Europe organised a specialist meeting on digital and e-skills on the 20th of June 2019. Partner organisations Scoala de Valori (Romania) and Fundacìon Secretariado Gitano (Spain), as well as the Belgian project Maks Vzw and the European Commission's Directorate General CONNECT discussed about projects promoting the development of young people’s skills in the IT and digital competences needed for the labour market. As an example, a category of young people often discriminated against are young Roma people: Fundacìon Secretariado Gitano has been active in providing young Roma men and women in Spain with digital and technological training specific to their professional profile gain, thus greatly increasing their chances of finding employment.
All of the attending initiatives emphasised the importance of close collaboration between the education system and companies, especially for job opportunities in highly digitalised sectors. Access to both digital and IT skills should be guaranteed equally to all young people, precisely because digital technology is so important in today's working environment. Together with soft skills and entrepreneurial spirit, digital skills has become requisite for young people who want to enter the labour market and create a life of their own as soon as possible.