Data Space for Skills kicked off to develop an open and trusted ecosystem for skills data sharing

17/10/22

BDVA and a consortium of 14 partners launched the Data Space for Skills (DS4Skills) project, led by DIGITALEUROPE, uniting key industry, education and data ecosystem stakeholders. Funded by the European Commission under the Digital Europe Programme, ...

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BDVA and a consortium of 14 partners launched the Data Space for Skills (DS4Skills) project, led by DIGITALEUROPE, uniting key industry, education and data ecosystem stakeholders. Funded by the European Commission under the Digital Europe Programme, DS4Skills aims to prepare the groundwork for the development of a European Data Space for Skills that supports sharing and accessing skills data. 

On 12 October, DS4Skills consortium organised a kick-off meeting in Brussels, setting a detailed work plan for the project in the next 12 months. As part of the European Commission’s roadmap for creating common European data spaces for different areas, DS4Skills focuses on developing a data space for education and skills. The project is a preparatory action which provides input for a future project on the deployment of the European Data Space for Skills. In specific, the project will identity relevant data sources for the skills data space based on stakeholders’ needs. It will then propose conceptual approaches and possible options for the future rollout of the skills data space. Via the wide and multidisciplinary network of partners, the project will build consensus and engage with the broad community of skills stakeholders.  

Building an open, secure and trusted data space for skills

A common Data Space for Skills is needed more than ever. Today, information about skills, educational profiles, job offers, training opportunities, statistical information, research and innovation information, etc., is scattered across a wide range of public and private organisations. The fragmentation of available skills data makes it difficult for both organisations and individuals to seize opportunities and find relevant resources when needed, especially in the context of accelerating digital transformation and automation.  

The DS4Skills project contributes to the development of a secure and trusted data space to support the sharing and access of skills data for various purposes, such as analytical and statistical purposes, policy development, re-use in innovative applications, alignment of training programmes with emerging digital needs, allowing the right training and employment recommendations for individuals to reskill and upskill, and empowering individuals with their skills. Accordingly, the project contributes to reinforcing the EU’s digital capacities and building a sovereign, ethical and decentralised digital infrastructure, which is one of the core objectives of the Digital Europe Programme.  

In the first stage, DS4Skills will define relevant data sources for the skills data space by mapping and analysing existing platforms and projects for collecting, storing and sharing skills data across both the public and private sector. These data sources will be categorised to feed into the future skills data space, taking into account the stakeholders’ needs. Next, the project will develop a blueprint for the deployment of this data space in the future, with various conceptual approaches and options as well as specific use cases.  

Engaging stakeholders and the data spaces support centre in an open and collaborative community 

One of the core values of DS4Skills is to ensure the development of a human-centric skills data space. Therefore, the project is designed to engage with both public and private stakeholders and involve them in setting the foundation and approaches for the skills data space. This is to make sure that the use cases and applications fit their needs regarding education, training and employment, especially in a context of personalising education, reskilling and upskilling as well as recruiting the right skilled profiles. 

Coordinated by DIGITALEUROPE, the DS4Skills consortium brings together 10 full partners and 4 associated partners with solid experience in data ecosystem and community building, a wide network of stakeholders from diverse backgrounds, including researchers, training providers, companies as well as associations representing industry and data ecosystems. Via the consortium’s networks and public communications, the project will map relevant stakeholders who then will be consulted about the work progress and outcomes via different formats such as surveys, workshops, interviews, etc. This will secure the effective involvement of the partners who already engaged in various data space and skills initiatives, and at the same time facilitate the inclusion of new stakeholders. In addition, DS4Skills will engage with the Data Spaces Support Centre, which will be launched on 13 October to promote and coordinate all relevant actions on sectorial data spaces. 

Joining the DS4Skills consortium, BDVA is a partner with key responsibilities in the engagement of strategic stakeholders and the validation processes with those. In close collaboration with other partners, BDVA will organise a series of 3 online workshops to conduct dialogues on the future of the data spaces for skills in Europe, and gather consensus around uses cases and the blueprint that will be developed by the project. BDVA will also contribute to the development of an online interactive inventory of skills-related data, while also working on general stakeholders and raising awareness between the Big Data and AI community with dissemination actions. 

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