The European Commission is launching a network of providers of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) related to web and apps skills.

MOOCs are online university courses that enable people to access quality education without having to leave their homes. The new network aims to map the demand for web-related skills across Europe and to promote the use of MOOCs for capacity-building in those fields.

Web-related industry is generating more economic growth than any other part of the European economy, but hundreds of thousands of jobs remain unfilled due to the lack of qualified staff.

European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes, responsible for the Digital Agenda, said: “By 2020, 90 per cent of jobs will need digital skills. That is just around the corner, and we aren’t ready! Already businesses in Europe are facing a shortage of skilled ICT workers. We have to fill that gap, and this network we are launching will help us identify where the gaps are. This goes hand in hand with the work being done through the Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs”.

The Commission is calling upon web entrepreneurs, universities, MOOC providers and online learners to join the network, which is part of the “Startup Europe” initiative aimed at strengthening the business environment for web entrepreneurs in Europe, contributing to innovation, growth and jobs.

Participants in the network benefit from the exchange of experiences and best practices, opportunities for networking, news updates, and the chance to participate in a conference dedicated to MOOCs for web and apps skills scheduled for the second half of 2014. In addition, the network offers a discussion group that can be found on the European Commission’s portal Open Education Europa. The initiative is coordinated by p.a.u. education (a Barcelona-based education provider) and in partnership with Iversity, a platform for MOOCs.

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