14 June, 2022

Digital Upskilling for All: overview

The European social partners for the telecommunications sector – UNI Europa ICTS, the European trade union federation for service workers, and ETNO, the European Telecommunication Network Operators’ Association – have been working on the “Digital Upskilling for All!” project (DUFA!) since the beginning of 2020. 

DUFA! is a social dialogue project (co-financed by the EU) that aims to develop best practices related to digital upskilling, inclusion and diversity to serve as examples for the workforce of the European telecommunications sector. Here below the main developments of the initiative - click on the links to discover more and follow the videos.

1: Press Release to find out more about the initiative's ambitions.

2. Deep Dive on Digital Upskilling Best Practices to increase gender diversity in the telecom workforce

Held on 25 February 2021, this round table gathered experts from the ICT sector to share identified best practices promoting gender diversity along the employee journey in a company. Only, 12% of executives in leading telecom companies are female and the DESI 2020 report that shows that only 1 out of 6 ICT specialists are women. 52 representatives from 24 companies/organizations participated in the full day event and were joined by Mercer Consulting.

Video recordings:

The power point presentations of this roundtable on gender diversity are available here. 

The highlights of this roundtable on gender are available here


3. Deep Dive on Digital Upskilling Best Practices to increase the employability of the ageing workforce in the Telecom sector

Held on 3 June 2021, This second round table included 41 representatives from 22 companies/organisations who discussed the best practices identified so far during the DUFA project, to increase the employability of the ageing workforce in the European telecom sector and to facilitate a discussion around ageism in the workplace: In Europe, 44% of people believe ageism is a serious problem, compared with 64% in the UK as a whole and digital upskilling can help the ageing workforce employability and also will help the companies to stay competitive.

Video recordings:

The power point presentations of this roundtable on ageing work force are available here

The highlights of this roundtable on ageing work force are available here. 


4: Final conference : Digital Upskilling for all – pathways for the digital upskilling and inclusion of the European Telecoms sector worforce

After two successful virtual events, ETNO and UNI Europa organised a final conference of the project Digital Upskilling For All! (DUFA) in Lisbon, Portugal, on 23-24 May 2022. This event was intended to consolidate the results from the project research and the previous round table discussions as well as to expand the debate on digital upskilling pathways for other diversities in the telecom/ICT sector. The steering group and our Partner Mercer have decided to highlight the ageing workforce paradox “with a growing older work population -no specific attention was given to the digital upskilling of the ageing workforce in the sector (panel discussion)”.

The conference included panel discussions, workshops on indicators and obstacles, brainstorming and networking to foster the understanding of our experts on Digital upskilling, diversity, and inclusion, and expanded the empowering women and older workers to access new ICT job opportunities by promoting equity for digital upskilling among other diversity groups: neurodiversity, disabilities, ethnicity, refugees, LGBTQIA+. 

Video recordings:

All the presentations used during DUFA's Final Conference are available here.

More information about the event can be found here.


- Rik Bleeke (CISCO)
 Alessandro Cortesi (DUFA)


5: Dissemination and next steps 

© ETNO 2022
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