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Almost 570,000 people cross Europe and beyond learned to create with code during EU Code Week that took place from 10 to 18 October 2015. Thousands of events were organised where people, from children to seniors, could learn how the computer works behind the screen. Save the date for this year's EU Code Week: 15 to 23 October 2016!

7,594 events took place in 48 countries in the EU and beyond including the United States and Australia as well as countries in Africa and Asia. Get ready for EU code week 2016 - 15 to 23 October!

Code Week – which started as a European movement – went world-wide in 2015. Apart from the EU Member States, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, the Isle of Man, Albania, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia and Turkey events took place in Australia, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, China, Egypt, South Korea, Moldova, Morocco, Russia, Taiwan, Tunisia, Ukraine and the United States.

Top of the events league were Italy (2,369 events) and Poland (2,064 events) followed by Spain (509), Greece (305) and Ireland (236). In total 569,700 people participated in EU Code Week events, well over 526,000 participants in the EU.

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The 4th edition of Code Week EU is less than five months away! Between 15 and 23 October, millions of children, young adults, adults, parents, teachers, entrepreneurs, and policy makers will again come together at events, in classrooms and libraries across Europe and beyond to learn to create with code.

Vice-President for the Digital Single Market Andrus Ansip said: "Digital skills are essential for everyone in the 21st century. Coding is a fun and engaging way to learn IT and to do so in a collaborative environment. This year we must make sure that everyone across Europe can participate in Code Week – and this is why I welcome partnerships with local and regional authorities, public libraries and associations for young people".

Alessandro Bogliolo, Code Week ambassador coordinator said: "Coding turns intuitions into solutions, ideas into innovation. Computational thinking unleashes the potential of creativity. It's not about technology, it's a matter of personal empowerment. Don't miss the opportunity learn some coding during Europe Code Week 2016 and share the thrill with your family, pupils and students, friends as well as with millions of people around the world."

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How acute is the IT skills gap? In Europe, more than 40% of companies have expressed difficulties about finding staff with the right skills and experience to fill IT positions. On 16 June 2016, the Council of European Professional Informatics Societies (CEPIS) will host the 1st IT Professionalism Europe Conference in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. This conference aims to bring together key stakeholders to share best practices to develop IT talents and stimulate more efforts on corporate and government levels to tackle this challenge.

As a provider of training content and services to IT training and consulting companies, ITpreneurs has a strong interest on topics relating to competence development of IT professionals. I have an opportunity to speak with Fiona Fanning, Secretary General at CEPIS recently. Fiona explains why IT training and consulting providers will find this upcoming conference both relevant and timely.

Read more on ITpreneurs website

Swift is an intuitive programming language that is easy and fun to learn! With it you can create amazing iOS apps and speed up your career as a developer! Interested to get your hands on Swift? Join the eSkills competitions and get a chance to win a 12.5K scholarship with the App Academy in Amsterdam!

If you are not yet familiar with Swift, here is some information that will make you want to get started right away!

  • You can experiment with Swift code in "Playgrounds": one of Swift's most interesting features is an interactive environment called a Playground. This tool lets you see the effects of changes or additions to code as you type, without going through the time-consuming rigmarole of running the code through the compiler and executing it.
  • Swift offers type inference: coders don't need to spend time annotating variables with type information and risk making mistakes; in most cases, the compiler can infer the type from the value that a variable is being set with.
  • Swift introduces Generics: these are functions that can be reused with different variable types without being rewritten for each type.

eSkills competition: Innovative App Developer category

Now that you know about Swift, what are you waiting for to take the next step as an app developer? Submit your project for the Innovative App Developer category and get the chance to win a 12.5K scholarship with the App Academy in Amsterdam. Deadline for submission of entries is 31 July 2016!

Read more on e-Skills for Jobs 2016 website

This year Telecentre Europe's flagship campaign Get Online Week reached 122,000 Europeans across 27 countries. From all those involved in campaign activities, around 79,000 were young people and 12,000 were unemployed. A record number of 29 campaign partners organised more than 5,100 various activities and promoted the campaign in their countries.

The seventh edition of the European Get Online Week (GOW) to digitally empower and employ people was celebrated on 14-20 March this year. With a record number of 29 campaign partners involved in 27 countries, the campaign proved again the necessity to raise awareness about ICT competence and the importance to see every European digitally savvy. European GOW 2016 was again part of eSkills for Jobs to tackle youth unemployment.

This year’s campaign focused around two themes: trust and confidence, and digital jobs. The overall aim was to engage and empower people to use technology and the Internet with confidence and skills that allow them to benefit of the world of online opportunities. Also, it brought stakeholders together at national and local level to provide training and support to youth and unemployed towards digital careers.

Read more on e-Skills for Jobs 2016 website

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