ESSA deploys learning programmes for software up- and reskilling across Europe

ESSA starts a new phase to bridge the software skills gap in Europe. We are moving from conceptualisation and design to developing materials for the piloting of learning programmes that will equip individuals with the skills needed to thrive in the software services sector. 

Over half of the companies in the EU actively recruiting ICT specialists report difficulties in finding them[1]. The demand for professionals with skills in software development and programming is on the rise. To meet it, ESSA creates standardised learning programmes for people to take up entry-level and specialised software roles.  

Figure: ESSA Educational Profiles Framework 

At the very start, we identified the most in-demand skills to succeed in software roles (have a look at our Needs Analysis Report) — this was a solid foundation to design curricula guidelines that can support learning providers to easily adapt their educational offering to the market needs.  

Now is the time to bring our project to life by developing and piloting learning materials. The learning programmes of ESSA build on existing learning materials provided by education and industry partners and are complemented by creating new materials as relevant. The learning materials cover the initial 9 educational profiles (from EQF 4/5 to EQF 7) and a total of 12 pilots will be delivered across different institutions, learning providers, and industry players. 

Setting the stage for piloting the ESSA programmes in Europe 

The software industry is constantly evolving and the learning programmes in this field should, too. We are designing the programmes to be flexible, modular, and adaptable to changing technologies. This means that the learners will be able to stay up to date with the latest trends and developments and acquire the skills needed to remain competitive in the job market. 

Starting in September 2023, ESSA will pilot a first round of learning programmes to skill, upskill, and reskill around 240 learners in at least 8 countries including France, Ireland, Poland, Greece, Slovenia, Estonia, Italy and The Netherlands. The pilot programmes want to allow individuals, regardless of their location or prior educational experience, to participate and acquire the skills they need for their desired software job. 

But ESSA is not stopping there… The initiative is receiving increased interest from stakeholders who are sharing our vision and see a real opportunity and added value in being part of this Software Skills Alliance to, themselves, pilot full learning programmes or smaller parts of the programmes (you can read more on soft piloting).  

Your organisation can join, too. Find out how to become our Associated Partner. 

The ESSA initiative is a significant step forward in the effort to improve the software skills of Europe’s workforce. The project has moved from the conceptualisation and design phase to the development and piloting of learning programmes and materials. This is an exciting phase in the project’s history, as it provides a unique opportunity for individuals to acquire the skills they need to thrive in the digital economy — and for organisations to meet their needs. With ESSA, Europe is taking a bold step towards creating a more prosperous and innovative future. 

  1. European Commission, Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI), 2022.

Cover Picture by Arnold Francisca on Unsplash.