E-DESIGN: Digital skills and innovative teaching methods to increase employment opportunities of disadvantaged groups

Jul 16, 2019News

The term “Industry 4.0” was first heard in 2011 at the Hanover Fair, where three consultants of the German government introduced and described the process that would lead to the complete automation and interconnection of industrial production at the global level. It is with the spread of the so-called smart production achieved through the use of object-related telematics that the 4th Industrial Revolution begins. [1]

Although this historic transformation is still in the making, the impact it will have on industrial plans of companies and governments as well as the social habits of each individual, already pushed many countries to adopt specific approaches aimed at maximizing the benefits associated with it.[2]

It is precisely in the light of this imminent technological development that the E-DESIGN project’s goal is to enhance the digital and professional skills of disadvantaged groups such as migrants and refugees, promoting their social inclusion by increasing their opportunities to enter the future labour market.

Over a two-year period, the project includes the setting up of at least 4 ICT Training Hotspots in schools and within the community in each of the 5 partner countries, where specific ICT-based learning courses will be provided. The Hotspots will also serve as a safe environment for intergenerational and intercultural dialogue.

From July 2nd to 4th 2019, the project partners gathered in Palermo to discuss the results of the research conducted over the past months, analyse actual needs and future prospects of the ICT market in the different regions, and plan actions that address them locally in Germany, Cyprus, Portugal, Greece and Italy. For more information (at the moment only available in English), you can read the complete Italian report here or see the project’s website for the European report (www.e-designproject.eu)

In the next steps, the partnership will work on the detailed definition of the content of the ICT courses. The macro-themes which have been already identified are microcontrollers, 3D printing, web & app development. At the same time, collaborations with schools and other relevant actors will be consolidated in order to enable a timely establishment of the ICT Hotspots.

The launch of the learning courses will take place at the beginning of the school year 2019/2020. Each of them will last approximately 40 hours during which students will develop their digital skills primarily through self-learning and finish with a personal project of their choice. There will also be a possibility for teachers and volunteers to be trained, which will then provide assistance during the whole process and facilitate the further acquisition of transversal skills such as problem-solving, design thinking and communication.

For more information about the project, have a look at the project’s website e-designproject.eu or keep an eye on the Facebook page.


E-DESIGN – European Digital Education for Social Inclusion and Global Neighbourhood is a three-year project co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme, Key Action 3 – Social Inclusion and Common Value.

The 6 European institutions involved in the E-DESIGN are as follow:

To stay up to date with the developments or to participate in the project, please write to vidjaya.thelen@danilodolci.org. Participation to the ICT courses is free of charge.

[1] Digital360hub, 2018. Industria 4.0: storia, significato ed evoluzioni tecnologiche a vantaggio del business.

[2] World Economic Forum, 2018. Readiness for the Future of Production