GOW 2014 Media Release

Brussels, Belgium

From March 24th to 30th 2014 Telecentre Europe organises its 5th annual edition of the European Get Online Week (GOW) a campaign aiming to raise awareness amongst the young and unemployed on the e-skills needed for the 21st century workplace.

Are young people really ICT savy?

 Although 89% of 16-24 year olds in the European Union are digital natives, many young people are not yet aware which e-skills are needed to find a job and to build a career in the 21st century workplace. If we don’t address their knowledge gap now, they won’t have the chance to fill the projected one million jobs requiring ICT skills to be available in the next ten years.

 The European Get Online Week is an annual campaign that aims to spread the word about the existing e-skills gap in Europe and how, if not dealt with, the phenomenon may create missed opportunities for our youth. As digital inclusion is still important in a number of European countries and for some telecentres, Get Online Week will also continue to get targeted groups of users on the Internet for the first time.

Where is it taking place?

A number of awareness and education activities targeted primarily at the young (18-24 year olds) will take place in more than 5.000 European ICT learning centres (also known as telecentres) in 20 countries, but also at libraries, schools and public spaces, located in both urban and rural areas. For a precise list of GOW activities per country please click here.

 Who is part of it?

Networks of telecentres and NGOs/civil society associations with a specialty in  digital literacy and e-inclusion from 20 countries have once again decided to empower their youth to use technology to find a job and get concrete opportunities for career development and training. Together, these  “GOW National Partners” aim to reach directly at least 50.000 Europeans.

In addition, this Get Online Week has, with the help of our founding organisation Foundation,  expanded outside Europe- to countries in Africa and the Middle East. For more information please go here.

 Liberty Global and Microsoft continue their commitment to support the Get Online Week campaign this year. Microsoft is supporting the GOW through its YouthSpark: a company-wide, global initiative to create opportunities for 300 million youth over three years. Through YouthSpark Microsoft provides grants to eligible organizations whose missions and activities support youth development and donates software and services to a broad array of eligible nonprofit organizations. Within the GOW 2014 Microsoft will collaborate with many of our National Partners to bring concrete e-skills and training to youth. More information here.

Liberty Global will, together with Telecentre Europe, organise the launch of the YouRock initiative during the GOW in a number of European countries. YouRock is a new online youth employability service, helping this target audience identify their hidden work skills and build a profile for employability. More information here.

How is the GOW related to EU policy developments?

GOW willl this year be embedded into a major year-long digital empowerment campaign, the European e-Skills for jobs campaign, organised by the European Commission, EuropeanSchoolnet and DIGITALEUROPE. It aims to raise awareness of the need for citizens to improve their command of information and communication technology (ICT) skills for work. The campaign is a response to the growing demand for ICT-skilled professionals which is currently not met, despite high level of unemployment in Europe.

Both the e-Skills campaign and the Get Online Week support the Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs. In fact, the Get Online Week was officially launched by TE’s Director Gabriel Rissola on March 19th during the workshop titled “Growing National Coalitions for Digital Jobs” at the European Commission.

How did it all start?

The European Get Online Week was inspired by the campaign with the same name ran by UK Online Centres. Telecentre Europe, with the support of Foundation took it to the European level as it aimed to get new users online by organising activities and trainings in their local ICT learning centres (telecentres). Since its take-off in 2010, the Get Online Week campaign has reached more than 600.000 Europeans in more than 20.000 learning centres across Europe. Thanks to the campaign, more than 100.000 people have used the Internet for the very first time. More information on past editions of the GOW here., TWITTER: #GOW14 @tc_europe

Media: Video by high-level EC representative and Infographic on e-Skills gap will be available on our website soon!


Mr. Laurentiu Bunescu, Campaign Manager

Ms. Masha Tarle, Media and Communications