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Pre-Conference Workshop FD3

Boosting the Use of Online Training by Small Companies in Europe

Date Wednesday, Dec 5  Time   –    Room Schöneberg   Price: free of charge   Status: fully booked

Workshop leaders

OEB speaker Kristina Dervojeda

Kristina Dervojeda

Senior Manager, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, The Netherlands

OEB speaker Naveen Srivatsav

Naveen Srivatsav

Emerging Technologies Researcher, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, The Netherlands


OEB speaker Kristoffer Hedram

Kristoffer Hedram

Lin Education, Sweden

OEB speaker Nikitas Kastis

Nikitas Kastis

Researcher and Educational Policy Analyst, Mind2Innovate, Greece

OEB speaker Christian Friedl

Christian Friedl

Graz University of Applied Sciences, Austria

OEB speaker Märt Aro

Märt Aro

DreamApply, Estonia

OEB speaker Sarah Cherif

Sarah Cherif

CUTESolutions, Belgium


For most small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and particularly for SMEs active in high-tech domains, it is highly difficult to find, attract and retain highly skilled individuals. SMEs cannot afford significant training costs requiring long periods of absence of their staff. At the same time, upskilling and reskilling are of key importance for them, as rapid technological developments quickly make existing knowledge and skills obsolete. SMEs could use online training as a more cost-effective, flexible and accessible way to educate their staff. However, the adoption of online training by European SMEs is occurring at a slow pace.

To this end, the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME) and the Directorate General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW) of the European Commission have recently launched a new initiative on “Promoting Online Training Opportunities for the Workforce in Europe”.

This initiative strives to explore the role of online training in tackling the skills-related challenges in Europe, with a particular focus on high-tech SMEs. It implies performing an extensive state-of-play analysis, developing a common vision and formulating recommendations for supporting measures. Examples of the key issues that are addressed by this initiative include

  • What exactly needs to be done and by whom to stimulate the uptake of online training by SMEs in Europe?
  • How should the funding of online training-related initiatives for the workforce be organised?
  • How can online training best complement other (more traditional) forms of training?
  • What are the most promising ways of reaching out to the workforce (particularly within SMEs) to engage them in online training?

Online training here refers to a wide range of digital learning solutions, including bespoke and off-the-shelf e-learning, video content, mobile learning, MOOCs, virtual reality, gamification, etc. The outcome of this initiative will play a prominent role in forming future EU policymaking in regard to online training.

The current expert Pre-Conference Workshop will discuss detailed proposals for support measures to stimulate the uptake of online training by SMEs in Europe. The Workshop will feature good-practice examples and practical illustrations of the proposed solutions. Furthermore, it will provide a platform for discussion, with an opportunity for participants to provide facts, figures, testimonies and solutions.

Target Audience

Hands-on practitioners and industry professionals, including course developers, publishers, and vendors, as well as facilitators and policy makers with a shared interest in technology-enhanced learning.


Specifically, your contribution will help us further develop a blueprint for the common vision for EU policymaking in the field of online training for SMEs. This common vision will include specific measures, roles and priorities at the EU and national levels for implementation towards 2022 and beyond.


10:00 Welcome and introduction
10:30 SMEs and online training: a match made in heaven?
11:00 The good, the bad and the ugly truth about innovation in lifelong learning: towards an ecosystem approach
11:30 Discussion and participants’ feedback
12:00 Lunch
13:00 Towards specific measures for promoting online training among European SMEs
15:00 Discussion and participants’ feedback
15:30 Wrapping up: concluding remarks