• Although Europe is well-positioned to lead the global race for blockchain, a lack of digital skills could hinder this ambition

  • The new CHAISE project was tasked by the European Commission to develop a new skills development strategy to address the lack of talent in blockchain and distributed ledger technologies (DLTs) across Europe.

  • The four-year project will develop a certified training programme for blockchain and DLTs, and the first-ever “blockchain specialist” occupational profile

Industry, manufacturing, agriculture, technology: Europe is in a leading position in many sectors that can successfully apply blockchain or other Distributed Ledger Technologies. At the same time, the lack of digital skills throughout Europe threatens to hamper and slow down innovation in this and other emerging technologies. To counteract this dynamic and “close the gap”, a consortium of top stakeholders in DLT innovation and skills development have launched the new CHAISE project to deliver “blockchain skills for Europe”.

From 18-20 November 2020, the new four-year initiative was officially launched with its first project meeting. CHAISE is not just another European project. Mandated by the EC to design the missing European Blockchain Skills Strategy, “It is a really specific project”, said Pavol Krempasky from the European Commission’s Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA). He assured the partners of his agency’s strong commitment to enhance CHAISE’s visibility.

Blockchain skills development done right

“We expect a lot from this project”, agreed Pierre Marro from the Commisson’s DG CONNECT, highlighting the importance of approaching blockchain-skills development with an interconnected mindset that includes other emerging technologies as well. CHAISE is well-equipped for the paradigm shift ushered in by blockchain. Led by the Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 (UCBL), the project’s consortium consists of European and global leaders in blockchain and DLTs, including industry partners (Fujitsu, IOTA, INTRASOFT), sectoral organisations and communities (e.g. Italian DIGITAL SME Alliance member Italia4Blockchain and BERCHAIN), as well as the International Association of Trusted Blockchain Applications (INATBA) and others.

The project will develop a 5-semester VET (qualification) programme in 11 EU languages with an innovative approach. In addition to technical skills specific to blockchain/DLTs, the CHAISE Curriculum will also include non-technical soft skills to respond to the specific needs of modern work environments (problem-solving, team work, and a customer-oriented and entrepreneurial mindset).

In addition, all learning materials developed by the project will be consolidated into an open online course. Finally, CHAISE will also develop the first-ever “blockchain specialist” occupational profile in line with existing competences and qualification frameworks (like the eCF) to guarantee a common language for digital skills descriptions.