Digital Opportunity – a call for SMEs to provide digital skills for Europe

Today, the European Commission launched Digital Opportunity, a new initiative to fund cross-border traineeships in ICT companies. Young ICT professionals that enroll in the program will receive an allowance of 500 euros per month. By this initiative, the Commission aims at training additional new ICT practitioners to cope with the shortage of skilled workforce in the digital economy.

‘Europe’s industry is lacking some half million ICT professionals. This affects mostly SMEs that, compared to larger companies, have higher difficulties in attracting skilled people. Today, our SMEs, the front-runners of innovation and growth in Europe, are given a chance to offer the best hands-on working experience to those students and young practitioners who will be driving Europe digital sector in the forthcoming years.’ said Oliver Grün, President of European DIGITAL SME Alliance at the Digital Opportunity opening ceremony.

Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, announced the start of Digital Opportunity at the opening ceremony organized by the European Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition. Grün, together with other CEOs of digital companies and students were asked by the Commissioner to present their testimonials about traineeships in the digital sector. On the side of the ceremony, Ms Gabriel also took part in the meeting of the Governing Board of the Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition. Oliver Grün, who recently joined the Governing Board as SME representative, commented: “We had a good exchange with the Commissioner.  We agree that motivating a wide community of digital SMEs to train ICT professionals is key for Europe to succeed in the digital revolution.”

By 2020, some 6.000 university students and recent graduates will carry out traineeships under Digital Opportunity across the EU. Internships last up to five months and start as of June 2018.  In order to foster European collaboration, Digital Opportunity focuses on cross–border traineeships, the students will be hosted in companies from another EU member state. SMEs offering traineeships will have no additional costs, nor complicated administrative procedures, as trainees receive grants issued by universities funded with EU money.

SMEs willing to offer traineeships under Digital Opportunity can publish their offers online at or Posted traineeship openings will be matched with students who have applied through their universities, and traineeship candidates will be introduced to the companies.

More information you can find on social media, blog post and a list of questions and answers can be downloaded here.



Governing Board of the Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition meeting Commissioner Gabriel at the opening ceremony of Digital Opportunity on 7 December 2017 in Brussels: