The Vodafone Foundation has announced an investment of €20 million to fund digital skills and education initiatives across Europe and the UK. It is expected that by 2025, the programs sponsored by this investment will reach 16 million learners. The programs run in partnership with charities and NGOs, and will allow people to develop their knowledge and skills in using digital technologies. The €20 million investment is said to be spread over the next five years.
The program aims to reach millions of primary and secondary school learners, those who are not students, employed or in training, and the elderly. This announcement happened to coincide with International Education Day. According to Vodafone, countries such as Albania, the Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Turkey and the UK will receive funding for advancing digital skills.
Nick Read, CEO Vodafone Group, said: “Vodafone is proud to support the critical development of digital skills and education in the communities we serve through our expertise in connectivity and technology. We remain committed, in an ever increasingly digital world, to building inclusive digital societies where nobody is left behind, which matters now more than ever as society aims to build back better following the impact of COVID-19.”
The Vodafone Foundation intends to close the digital skills gap by investing in programs that combine face-to-face training and digital platforms to improve the students and teachers’ skills. The investment complements approximately €150 million of in-kind contributions from the Vodafone Group to various COVID-19-related initiatives, and a €10 million investment made by the Vodafone Foundation during the emergency phase of the COVID-19 response in 2020.
Nick Land, Chairman, Vodafone Group Foundation said: “As Vodafone Foundation marks its thirty-year anniversary connecting over one million learners to a quality education across Europe and Africa, we are pleased to support programmes such as these which can have such a great impact on the future of so many people.”