Digital Belgium Skills Fund launched for disadvantaged youth


In order to teach young adults basic skills in coding and internet security, the federal minister for the digital agenda has earmarked €18 million for training projects

‘You need a minimum of digital skills’

Alexander De Croo, responsible for the digital agenda in the federal government, has launched the Digital Belgium Skills Fund to give more young people – in particular youngsters with disadvantaged backgrounds – the chance to develop digital skills.

The fund has a budget of €18 million, to be invested in projects over the next three years. The projects, which the King Boudewijn Foundation will select, will provide digital training to people under the age of 30, with priority given to vulnerable groups.

“We have to make sure that everybody in our digital society has equal opportunities, regardless of their age, background or situation at home,” said De Croo. “You need a minimum of digital skills.”

Proposals for projects can be submitted starting on 12 May. Every project selected is eligible to receive financial support of between €50,000 and €500,000.

The first projects to be considered for funding should teach participants basic coding and online security, but projects focusing on more complex skills can also receive support.

The fund was launched yesterday at BeCode, a free coding school that is part of the BeCentral digital hub in Brussels’ Central Station. BeCode targets young people who are not going to school and not working to help them get the skills they need to become employable.