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European Education Area

Quality education and training for all

Digital Education Action Plan – Action 12

Digital Opportunity Traineeships

90% of jobs in all sectors require some level of digital skills, yet 42% of European citizens do not have basic digital skills (European Commission, 2021).

Companies all over Europe struggle to find qualified workers who are able to help carry the digital transition. In 2017, over half (53%) of all businesses that recruited or tried to recruit information communication technology (ICT) specialists experienced difficulties in filling these vacancies. 


To address these challenges, in 2018 the European Commission set up a pilot project, the so-called ‘Digital Opportunity Traineeships’ (DOTs), to give higher education students and recent graduates in all disciplines the opportunity to gain hands-on professional experience in digital fields demanded by the labour market. 

This scheme provides trainees with the opportunity to strengthen their information-communication-technology-specific skills in fields, such as cybersecurity, big data, quantum technology and machine learning, and to boost digital skills for businesses in areas including web design, digital marketing and software development. 

From the launch in 2018 until the end of 2020, around 20,000 university students and recent graduates from a variety of study fields undertook an Erasmus+ traineeship abroad to acquire forward-looking digital skills;

The DOT scheme was extended in 2021 from including only Higher Education students and recent graduates to include also Higher Education staff and Vocational  Education and Training (VET) students/recent graduates. In 2022, the scheme was further extended to VET, school and adult learning staff;

Key activities

  • the DOT extension was launched in April 2021 as part of the 2021 Erasmus+ general call (under the Mobility Action, Key Action 1)

Expected results

  • boosted digital skills for VET and university students and recent graduates in relation to their fields of study as well as enriched digital pedagogical skills for school, VET, HE and adult learning staff.


  • the action started in 2021 and will continue until 2027 under the annual Erasmus+ General call 


This action is funded by the EU’s Erasmus+ programme.

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