In October 2020, the training programme Youth + Digital (Jovem + Digital) was launched. This programme targets young unemployed people aged 18-35, who are upper-secondary or higher education graduates, aiming to improve their digital competences. It runs under the responsibility of the Institute of Employment and Professional Training (IEFP), which is also monitoring its roll-out.
The strategic objective of the Youth + Digital training programme is to reinforce the quality and effectiveness of professional training and qualifications. Its specific objectives are:
- to align professional training with the real needs of the labour market;
- to improve the professional skills of young adults to foster their employability.
The training courses offered by the programme are part of the National catalogue of qualifications (Catálogo Nacional de Qualificações, CNQ), which is under the responsibility of the National Agency of Qualification and VET (Agência Nacional para a Qualificação e o Ensino Profissional, ANQEP). The training courses comprise a set of short-term training units of the CNQ technological training component, with a maximum duration of 350 hours, and can be delivered face-to-face or through distance learning. The development of new training courses, or the updating of existing ones, is done according to the needs of the labour market regarding digital competences.
In October 2020, training courses in areas such as cybersecurity, digital trade, and productivity and collaboration tools were already available at CNQ. Other training courses such as data analysis, business intelligence, programming languages (JAVA, NET, WEB and python) and social network management will be available soon.
The design of the Youth + Digital programme has taken into account the guidelines defined by the Economic and social stabilisation programme (Programa de Estabilização Económica e Social), while it is in line with the national action plan for digital transition and the European digital strategy.
The programme was launched in response to the profound changes in the labour market caused by the digitalisation of the economy and the Covid-19 pandemic. The government is strongly committed to introducing measures and programmes aiming to improve digital competences and promote employability. They specifically target vulnerable groups such as young adults who are among the most affected by the imbalances generated in the labour market.
Portugal's development strategy, which is aligned with EU’s multiannual financial framework 2021-27 and Next generation EU, places a special focus on the digital transition.