In a move to combat high levels of youth unemployment (there are two million job vacancies in Europe) and the mismatch in many countries between the skills of the job seeker and the needs of the labour market, the European Commission has announced that it will fund a pilot scheme of digital internships for students. Nowdays, most jobs need digital skills and 40% of companies – mostly small and medium businesses – need ICT specialists and find it difficult to recruit them.
The new pilot project aims to give students of all disciplines experience in fields that are demanded by companies, focusing mainly on “deep-tech” skills such as cybersecurity, big data, quantum or artificial intelligence, as well as as web design, digital marketing, software development, coding and graphic design.
Companies that are members of the Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition and businesses active in Horizon 2020, will be targeted in particular, but all companies in the digital field are welcome to offer internships and train students. The first internships could start in the autumn of 2018 with interns being offered a stipend of around €500 per month.
Details on how students and companies will be able to join the project will be provided in the coming weeks. If the pilot project is successful, the Commission may develop it further.