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A standardised dossier setting out personal skills and qualifications, which is free and available electronically in 28 languages, can help citizens find work or receive training anywhere in Europe.

The Europass is a portfolio of five documents and an electronic folder which can contain descriptions of a citizen’s learning achievements, official qualifications, work experience, skills and competences.

It contains the following elements:

  • Europass CV - to illustrate the holder’s skills;
  • Europass mobility - to record all periods of transnational mobility for learning purposes;
  • Europass diploma supplement - to provide details on higher education courses completed;
  • Europass certificate supplement - issued by competent national authorities to describe vocational qualifications;
  • Europass language passport - to present linguistic and cultural skills;
  • European skills passport - to improve the presentation of a CV by bringing together in one place the educational and training certificates declared in the CV.

The initiative is supported by an internet portal which allows citizens to draw up their own Europass CVs and language passports, and to find out about the other Europass documents.

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Petya Kapchina was one of the first motivated people who examined information about trainings and applied for a training with IT Talents a stakeholder of the eSkills for Jobs in Bulgaria. Later on her application was approved and she started a training, finished in May 2016 successfully and is currently working as a junior developer. Within few months Petya has totally changed her career, read the inspiring interview.

How have you decided to learn programming?

In the time of graduation, I started looking for my first serious job - it was as a human resources assistant. It was interesting, but I did not feel satisfaction from what I did. The working time passed slowly, and I needed bigger challenges in terms of operational tasks. So I gave an overview of the things that excited me from school. I’ve always been good at mathematics in high school and university and mathematics was among my favorite subjects. And this directed me to programming. Then in August 2015 I talked with Mrs. Vessela Kalacheva in her capacity as CEO of BAIT and national coordinator of eSkills for Jobs in Bulgaria. In a conversation, she told me about the present opportunities for retraining the eSkills for Jobs campaign provided and IT Talents emerged as the best alternative in my case.

Did you have a basic knowledge of programming before the IT Talents training?

I graduated Mathematics High School and we have been taught some basic things about programming, but the next four years at university I was very far from this field, my knowledge was zero at the first lecture of the training camp.

Read her full interview here

A study published by Barclays with the support of a wide range of influential names from the technology sector, looked at what is needed for the development of digital skills by considering the experience of 10 countries.

According to the report, it is “clear that becoming digitally empowered is not just about acquiring specific skills. It is very much about building confidence in their application”. There is also a strong focus on the mantra of ‘learning to learn’ – or rather than devising specific lessons to teach particular skills, schools and colleges should focus on providing access to the right tools and an environment in which people can be encouraged to exploit their natural creativity.

Read the full article here

In July 2011 Sebastian Thrun, who among other things is a professor at Stanford, posted a short video on YouTube, announcing that he and a colleague, Peter Norvig, were making their “Introduction to Artificial Intelligence” course available free online. By the time the course began in October, 160,000 people in 190 countries had signed up for it. At the same time Andrew Ng, also a Stanford professor, made one of his courses, on machine learning, available free online, for which 100,000 people enrolled. Both courses ran for ten weeks. Mr Thrun’s was completed by 23,000 people; Mr Ng’s by 13,000.

Such online courses, with short video lectures, discussion boards for students and systems to grade their coursework automatically, became known as Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). In 2012 Mr Thrun founded an online-education startup called Udacity, and Mr Ng co-founded another, called Coursera. That same year Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology got together to form edX, a non-profit MOOC provider, headed by Anant Agarwal, the head of MIT’s artificial-intelligence laboratory. Some thought that MOOCs would replace traditional university teaching. The initial hype around MOOCs has since died down somewhat (though millions of students have taken online courses of some kind). But the MOOC boom illustrated the enormous potential for delivering education online, in bite-sized chunks.

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