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European Initiatives

In recent years, digital skills have become increasingly relevant to big companies and SMEs, ICT specialists, and future professionals. What is more, there is a huge gap between the skills employers increasingly need, and the skills European workforce has to offer. In no other sector is this disparity so obvious than in the area of software development. 

The European Software Skills Alliance (ESSA in short) is an Erasmus+ Sector Skills Alliance project (2020-2024) that focuses on boosting growth and human capacity in the software services industry. ESSA's goal is to empower people to gain new skills, upskill further, and reskill themselves into high-demand professional software roles. In this way, ESSA also supports the target of the European Digital Decade - reaching 20 million employed ICT professionals within the EU by 2030. To this end, the partnership develops VET curricula, training programmes and material for education and training providers and organisations looking for skilled software professionals. 

The European e-Competence Framework (e-CF), a widely recognised standard for IT professionals, is used as a common reference point to identify the most relevant e-competences for software professionals (e.g., problem management, application design), the most needed software role profiles (e.g., developers, DevOps experts) and link them with the European Qualification Framework (EQF) and others. Contributing to its core mission, ESSA produced a blueprint Software Skills Strategy that directly addresses the skills misalignments between the training offering and the market requirements — building on the in-depth analysis of the sector.

ESSA wants to skill, upskill, and reskill individuals into high-demand professional software roles across Europe. It also facilitates the exchange of knowledge, content, resources, and good practices with its ESSA Software Skills community. The community focuses on the following topics: software; skills development; teaching & learning; Training; Human Resources; Technology and Careers.

Behind the project is a consortium of partners and experts in the software industry and digital policy from all around Europe. You can find the full list of the stakeholders involved on the official webpage of the project. 

Initiative Details

Target audience
Digital skills for the labour force.
Digital skills for ICT professionals and other digital experts.
Geographic scope - Country
Industry - field of education and training
Work skills
Database and network design and administration
Software and applications development and analysis
Information and communication technologies not elsewhere classified
Geographical sphere
International initiative