Support study for a pilot project for the development of digital skills through internships
ICT specialists regularly appear on the top of the EU skills shortage list. At the same time, high levels of youth unemployment persist, indicating an important skills mismatch. According to many companies, even the young people graduating with relevant degrees are not fully ready for the workplace. To address this situation, in December 2017, the European Commission launched a pilot project to boost digital skills through traineeships. This study analyses the supply of traineeships in digital in the EU and the potential role of the Digital Opportunity initiative (DOT) in fostering such traineeships. The study is based on the analysis of semi-structured and in-depth responses from 304 interviewees in 15 EU countries and additional desk-research. In total 291 companies of various sizes and from different sectors of the economy were interviewed., The study confirms a high demand for digital skills among European companies and indicates that traineeships are one of the key tools that companies use to address such demand. A large majority of companies interviewed expressed an interest in the DOT, citing a number of reasons, including access to talent and opportunities for partnerships with universities, as well as new expertise that could be gained through hosting trainees with unusual skills profiles. The study also reveals barriers to traineeships in general and DOTs in particular, including administrative burden; lack of clarity (e.g. the place occupied by the traineeship programme in the university curricula of the trainees); lack of knowledge about the local context on the part of trainees coming from abroad; the lack of motivation of some trainees; and the preference of some trainees for shorter traineeships., Published abstract with additional information.