Research carried out showed that lack of digital skills to young women could be a potential route to exclusion, lack of access to jobs, and hence increase of poverty and inequality, limiting young women’s capacity to contribute to economic and social regeneration (Liff & Shepherd, 2004). All the partner organizations are facing issues relating to young women’ unemployment. Investigating (interviews and focus groups) whether young women unemployment is related to deficiency in their digital skills and competences, they found that lack of digital skills of young women between the ages of 18-24 in search of a job effects their work opportunities.
Precisely, P1 (Italy) found that young women are left out of jobs because employers feel that they are taking a risk by hiring a person that lacks of digital skills. It was strongly evident that women coming from disadvantaged groups (i.e. refugees) or they are non-EU migrant women are not well integrated in the labour market, and one of the reasons was lack of ICT skills.
P2 found that Romania faces the challenge of young women unemployment related to the drop in interest for education, leaving them unskilled in ICT. They claimed that their current education system was failing to prepare them with skills needed to thrive in the digital world of the 21st century.
In Greece, the situation is even worse for young women. According to P3 young women claimed that the context of the old-fashioned education system of Greece, does not promote high quality ICT skill building and, employers choose to offer a job to a digitally qualified person. Besides, young women living in rural, remote and mountainous areas of Greece, lack of training opportunities to build their digital skills and competences.
In Cyprus (P4) young women referred to the shrinking job market due to the crisis and the inability of ICT low-skilled women to find a job, as well as the mismatch of digital skills possessed by the youth and the digital skills sought for by employers, keeping young women trapped between unemployment and irregular employment, being unable to gain substantial work experience and practical digital skills.
In Poland (P5) the results were similar, with young women claiming that their lesser presence in the workforce is due to their lack of education in computer skills. The results of the research carried out in the 5 partner countries, revealed the common need for giving opportunities to young women aged 18-24 to increase their employability through proper ICT education and training, to develop their digital skills and competences. This need urges to achieve a transnational partnership among the partner institutions involved, aiming at the exchanging of best practices on digital education and training for young unemployed women.