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Education and learning in the digital era
On Wednesday, 9 October 2019 AmCham EU’s Future of Work, Education & Skills Task Force organised a breakfast workshop on education and learning in the digital era: preparing for the Future of Work. During this interactive session, AmCham EU member companies, representatives from the EU institutions and civil society exchanged views on how to ensure that future graduates are equipped with the right skills to thrive in a digitalised work environment.
Representatives from the European Commission highlighted the importance of a combined approach between soft skills and digital skills. This approach was mirrored by the examples showcased by AmCham EU companies. On the one hand, companies like McDonald’s focus on young, unskilled people facing barriers to employment, trained through language and soft-skills programmes in the framework of the Youth Opportunity project. On the other hand, digital skills are at the core of numerous public-private partnerships aimed at students and teachers, as shown by AmCham Romania’s Start Digital project.
The discussion also highlighted the importance of ensuring that the transition towards the Future of Work is as inclusive as possible. Trainings and improved educational curricula should target NEETs (Not in Education, Employment or Training), employees working in SMEs, women and different age groups. Finally, participants also referred to the remaining challenges for companies engaging in education and training programmes. In particular, scaling up initiatives can be difficult as educational systems work differently across the EU. In addition to this, measuring returns and impact can also prove difficult.
Overall, the event demonstrated the importance of collaboration between stakeholders and decision-makers in ensuring that digitalisation becomes an opportunity, leaving no one behind. It also highlighted the key role of companies in providing opportunities for young students to increase employability and develop key skills to thrive in their future careers.
Anca Harasim, Executive Director, American Chamber of Commerce in Romania (AmCham Romania)
Lauren Burke, International Public Affairs Director, McDonald’s
Marco Montanari, Policy Analyst, DG Education and Culture, European Commission
The event was moderated by Francesca Stevens, Chair of the AmCham EU Policy Group and Director Government Affairs and Business Development, Arconic