Why every company should offer a Digital Opportunity Traineeship

38% of companies in Europe report that the lack of employees’ digital skills impacts their performance. This hampers productivity and slows down growth, affecting in particular small and medium-sized enterprises.

The European Commission offers a solution: the Digital Opportunity Traineeships. This initiative aims to help companies find highly motivated and digitally skilled candidates. 

Digital skills are becoming increasingly required across all sectors, not just within ICT. Cybersecurity, data analytics, blockchain or machine learning are impacting fields such as banking, manufacturing, farming or health. Digitally skilled people are also vital to maintain Europe’s global competitiveness in a fast-changing world. 40% of enterprises looking to fill ICT specialist jobs say they have difficulties finding the right people.

How it works

Companies publish offers for traineeships on positions involving tasks for example in data analytics, cybersecurity, software development, IT management or search engine optimisation. Companies can publish their offers on the ErasmusIntern.com platform, where students can directly apply.  In order to be able to receive the allowance from the European Union, students need to be pre-selected by their Universities. 

The trainees receive an allowance of around €500 per month, which the company can top up, for a period of 2 to 12 months. To take part in the initiative, students apply directly through their universities following the Erasmus+ procedures. Everything is explained in this simple guide.

For students, these temporary work placements provide a unique chance to use what they have learned at school in practice. By taking a Digital Opportunity Traineeship, they also improve their chances on the job market. 

Digital Opportunity Traineeship offers the perfect opportunity to learn on the job for the student and for companies to screen the talents for tomorrow’s workforce. 

The objective is to support up to 6,000 students between 2018 and 2020. The programme builds on the Commission’s efforts to reduce high levels of youth unemployment with the New Skills Agenda for Europe and the Digital Skills & Jobs Coalition

Feedback and testimonials

Hundreds of students and companies have already enrolled in the Digital Opportunity Traineeship programme. For example, Lorenzo from an Italian start-up Vinhood emphasises how easy it was to find people with the right profile:

“In order to offer better service to our clients we needed to have a data scientist in our team. It was hard to find the right person in Milan. Thanks to the Digital Opportunity Traineeship programme we enlarged the research at EU level and shortlisted several suitable candidates and finally selected a really good one.”

Lorenzo’s company is now looking for a second young professional to join their team through the initiative again.

Tiago from VisionSpace Technologies, appreciated the financial support provided by the EU. His company was able to bring the trainee to Germany and educate him for their needs:

“As an SME which produces software used for space technologies we really needed highly-skilled people, but these are difficult to find on the job market. The easiest way is to educate them in-house. We use this programme (DOT) to bring people from universities who have been taught the right methodologies and blend it with the expertise we need. This creates opportunities for both sides.”

Want to host a trainee in your company? Sign up to the ErasmusIntern platform and publish your Digital Opportunity Traineeship. Find more information and answers to frequent questions on this page