Digital education in European youth

We are currently going through a very difficult situation with the new coronavirus hovering above our heads and changing the world as we know it. As a result, the worldwide market is going to be completely different when this threat is over. However, it is not going to change entirely. The worldwide market is already following a specific path and as it appears, that path will be followed after the crisis as well.

We are talking about digital education that is a must-have for everyone in the world nowadays. Focusing in Europe we see that, European youth although appeared to be quite familiar with digital education, is not as ready to take on this difficult challenge as many might think. In particular, according to studies a very large per cent of European youth does not have digital skills and competencies needed for them to be able to stand in the labour market.

In many countries around Europe, young people do not have the opportunity to study. That could be, because of their social status, financial state or simple lack of interest in the digital world. Whichever the case, companies nowadays demand this type of education and as a result, a lot of young men and women are finding themselves unable to find a proper position in the labour market.

To reduce the problem, the European Union is, year after year funding programs aiming at enhancing the skills and competencies of European youth in the digital market. One of the ways that, that goal is to be achieved is through digital education. Apart from the fact that young adults need to enhance their skills and competencies, children need to already start cultivating those skills and competencies from a young age and that is what these projects are trying to achieve.

The projects are of course free for everyone. The organisations who are implementing them are making the content of the projects available for free to anyone who might be interested in learning a thing or two about digital education and how they can enhance their skills and competencies no matter what their age is.

Through these projects, young people will not just enhance their digital abilities but they will also be able to learn a thing or two about the labour market, the way it evolves and exactly how they are going to be able to cope with certain mechanisms that they might not be familiar with right now.

Statistics play the most important role in this particular case. By paying a visit to websites like for example Eurostat one can find information and statistics about every possible query across Europe. For example, when it comes to youth unemployment one can find stats that are separated by age, educational attainment, country of origin, active population and so on.

Nowadays, most of these European projects do not go about it the traditional way. They are usually focusing on target groups in remote areas like for example young people living in rural areas to help them enhance their skills and competencies and enter the labour market as prosperous and promising entrepreneurs.

Other projects are using gamification as a way to help young people enhance their skills and dependencies in the digital world. All of these projects are developing methodologies needed for young people to understand why they need to enhance their skills and competencies and of course how they are going to be able to do it. These projects also provide young people with tools that they can use throughout their entire lives or at least the beginning of their careers.

Nowadays, we are entering the era of industry 4.0. That industry requires digital innovation and digital skills. People who do not have either will simply not be able to stand in the future of the labour market. Getting information on the industry four points out of course is not just about enhancing your digital skills it is also about learning how the world involves and how things are going to change in the future.

Automation is the key to industry 4.0. The labour market is going to change, the job positions are going to change and people within the labour market will need to adapt. Eventually, everything is going to become automated and people in the industry will need to be able to handle the change.

Industry 4.0 is going to exist not just in the labour market but our daily lives as well. The projects like the IoE-EQ developed and implemented under the Erasmus plus umbrella people of all ages not just young people will have the opportunity to educate themselves regarding this new status quo and how digital education is going to be able to help them understand.

Article written by Katerina Pouspourika from the Institute of Entrepreneurship Development


Are you interested in the subject of “Learning in the Age of Industry 4.0.”, we warmly invite you to participate in the EAPRIL2020 Conference which encourages educational (practitioner-) researchers to have an in-depth dialogue regarding the opportunities provided by learning in the age of industry 4.0 and digitalisation in education. The EAPRIL2020 conference will take place in Kufstein, Austria from November 25-27, 2020! More info: www.eapril.org/eapril-2020.