According to the Management Plan (2017) of FG Trade, trade is the key component of the EU’s strategy for jobs, growth and investment. The EU is the largest exporter and importer of goods and services in the world and is deeply embedded in the value chains. EU exports provide jobs for 31 million Europeans and overall 1 in 7 jobs in the EU depends on exports. However, not all EU countries are export oriented. Greece for example has the closest economy in the EU. For the Greek economy phasing a huge economic turmoil over the last almost 10 years, one of the key strategies for the general economy recovery is the enhancement of corporate export procedures. Greek industries and companies may produce high quality, competitive priced products but are not focus in an export logic, since these products are mainly promoted in the local market. However, even economies that are more export oriented (Bulgaria, Turkey) face now the danger of not coping up with the recent trends in exporting.

Nowadays, there is a constantly growing trend towards digital economy. This is true also for the exports and a large number of them are done online. However, the VET systems in the partner countries cannot follow effectively this change. As a matter of fact in the partner countries there is not a stand-alone VET offer which focuses exclusively on e-marketing (leave alone e-exports). E-Marketing is always studied as a part of wider curricula even if the market demands an increased specialization on this topic. As  a result of this inability of VET to follow quickly the developments in the industry, surveys (such as those reported in the Digital Opportunity Traineeships Scheme) show that many companies mention that young people leaving education are not ready for the workplace. More than 40% of Businesses in Europe looking for specialists say they have difficulties to find the right people.

In order to respond to this huge skills gap, the project is going to develop a joint qualification focusing on exporting through the use of internet and social media with a strong work-based learning component.  

The initiative responds also to the New Skills Agenda for Europe promoted by the European Commission and the Digital Skills and Jobs coalition.