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Digital skills training for two million – POLITICO

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Digital skills training for two million - POLITICO

In recent years, Europe’s economy is growing in new ways and in different ways. One factor in this has been the online expansion of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Google, in collaboration with Friends of Europe, has brought some bright stars from the European SME scene to Brussels, where Google in Europe President Matt Brittin has announced plans to expand digital skills training initiatives that are crucial to starting a business.

A year ago, I made a promise: by the end of 2016, Google will teach up to one million Europeans digital skills. Matt Brittin, European President of Google

“We have already exceeded this figure – I am here today to tell you that we have doubled our promise to two million,” said Brittin.

Expanding the project means training two million Europeans from university courses to online learning platforms in 24 markets – and the news was warmly welcomed by Digital Skills: Creating Economic Growth in Europe at the Palace of Residences. . There, entrepreneurs met in areas ranging from German interior design to hot air balloon tours of the English countryside to discuss what helped them take off. Representatives of the EU, legislators and member states were present.

Europe has long relied on SMEs for growth. From the German Mittelstand, which exports high-quality industrial goods around the world, to eco-friendly boutique hotels in the Mediterranean, small companies make a big difference. In recent years, online access has given these firms unprecedented access to customers around the world, offering a global showcase for a wide range of goods and services.

During the morning session, business owners and entrepreneurs exchanged stories, discussed problems and shared anecdotes about what was and what didn’t work for them. One thing they loved: online advertising to find a new market for existing businesses. “It is solely through the Internet that we have become global,” explained Lois Alan of L’Architrave. A licensed carrier in Italy, she has been finding clients of the home of their dreams for thirty years. Online advertising has led to its Dutch and Scandinavian customers, as well as Americans, inspired by currency fluctuations. “Digital things are very important,” she concludes.

But there is something to work on. One of the big issues was the urgent need to complete the EU’s so-called digital single market, removing barriers between countries and making cross-border trade unhindered. In this regard, SMEs mentioned high distribution costs, different taxation systems and VAT rates across Europe, as well as problems with accepting online payments from customers abroad. Then there are issues related to copyright and intellectual property.

Moreover, online business models are constantly evolving, which means that legislation should be kept to a minimum to ensure that this is evidence in the future, added Tomasz Gusak of the Commission.

We need to see how the legislation we have now can be interpreted in the best way to allow business to grow. Tomasz Gusak from the Commission.

Rules and regulations vary widely between countries and sectors, which hinders online businesses that seek to grow but are aware of the limitations.

“There are fifteen of us in our company … in France we have a decision that we can’t have more than three interns,” said Maya Besis, deputy CEO of L’Exception, which sells more than 400 French fashion brands online. and in their boutique. in Paris. “We have thousands of students asking ‘can we come and study with you,’ and we can’t answer because the rules are wrong.”

Gaining experience working with a company is a great way to learn, and it was one of the many areas raised by the participants in the discussion at the main session of the day concerning digital skills. Maxim Ceruti from BusinessEurope stressed the importance of learning in the digital world, and Tana Lopez, a Spanish entrepreneur, set up her Fleed student network after taking an Activate course in Spain.

Activate is one of Google’s many affiliate programs across Europe designed to teach digital skills on the continent: in Germany they work with Commerzbank, DHL and the University of Leipzig, and in Italy the partners are the Ministry of Labor and employers UnionCamere. ‘association. It is important to help Europeans, especially young people, to develop the digital skills needed to participate in online work.

According to the European Commission, there are currently 900,000 jobs at risk of being left unfilled due to a lack of qualified staff. In a separate study, they note that between 2008 and 2014, SMEs added 93 billion euros to the European economy. And, according to the Commission’s report on SMEs, the main networking job creators were often “young firms working in knowledge-intensive service sectors”, which is very similar to those that make the most of the opportunities offered by the Internet.

Overall, entrepreneurs were thrilled with their success, but wanted to complete the digital single market so they could grow further. “There has never been a better time to become an entrepreneur in Europe than now,” Brittin said, referring to European success stories such as Skyscanner, the “fantastic fun” French edjing DJ program and photo editing program. EyeEm. “It’s easy to be pessimistic … but I’m optimistic about Europe.”

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