See attached position paper, in particular Section "10. Digital skills, digital diversity and inclusion":
In a rapidly changing world, there is an increasing demand on people and workers to learn how to use new technologies. Today, 52 per cent of European workers are in need of reskilling.10 In parallel, both partners should also look at ways to improve connectivity and access to ICT, enabling everyone to join trainings and education programmes remotely. Today, 36 per cent of the population in Central and Eastern Europe is unconnected compared to 19 per cent in Western Europe. 11 In the US, nearly 17 million school children lacked internet access at home during the pandemic12. Bridging the digital divide is an urgent pre-requisite for equipping our society with the right skills and assets for tomorrow’s world.
Investing in digital skills and continuing education as well as ensuring connectivity of all Europeans is not an option. It is an imperative in the post-pandemic world when looking at the future of work and online education.
▪ The TTC should assist the design of EU and US joint programmes, enhancing digital skills, access to ICT and the Internet and contributing to the work of the “promoting SME access to and use of digital technologies” working group.
▪ Promote diversity, inclusion and gender equality in digital education.
▪ Foster the digital transformation of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) by creating a reliable framework for transatlantic digital trade that takes into account their specific needs and enables them to reach their full digital potential.
▪ Coordinate strategies and exchange best practices to increase connectivity and bridge the digital divide, e.g. by investing in new infrastructure.
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