EU launches #digitalskills initiative with support from @Telefonica, @Nokia, @SAP,…

25 Jan, 2013

Europe has a problem: it can’t produce enough people skilled in ICT to meet the demand. The ICT job market is growing by 3 % each year, while the number of ICT graduates and other ICT workers is actually shrinking.

At the moment, there are 700 000 ICT jobs open that can’t be filled, according to the European Commission. Today, European digital chief Neelie Kroes called the European technology industry to action at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

She wrote on her blog: “Today, the Commission is issuing a call to action to companies, governments, educators, social partners, employment service providers and civil society to join us in a massive effort to “turn the tide”. Young Europeans should have the tools to enter digital careers or to create jobs as entrepreneurs.”

“The digital skills gap is growing, like our unemployment queues. We need joint action between governments and companies to bridge that gap. The ICT sector is the new backbone of Europe’s economy, and together we can prevent a lost generation and an uncompetitive Europe. So I am expecting concrete pledges by companies, everyone I meet will be getting the same request. The Commission will do its bit but we can’t do it alone – companies, social partners and education players – including at national and regional level – have to stand with us.”

So far, a long list of tech companies from Europe have pledged support, including: Nokia, Telefónica, SAP, Cisco, HP, Alcatel-Lucent, Randstad, ENI, Telenor Group, ARM, as well as the CIO community, CEPIS (Council of European Professional Informatics Societies) and Digital Europe.

These organizations will pledge jobs, internships, training places, startup funding and free courses.

Kroes said on Twitter that she was pleased with the positive reactions from the

Concrete measures to close the digital gap could include training vouchters, assistance when relocating to other countries.

The commission also started a single platform for startups called Startup Europe, a single platform for tools and programmes supporting people wanting to set up and grow web start-ups in Europe.

via EUROPA, photo: CEA, Flickr

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Raf Weverbergh

Editor of whiteboard. Raf Weverbergh was a magazine journalist whose work appeared in magazines like Rolling Stone, Playboy, Mail on Sunday, Publico and South China Morning Post. He is the co-founder of FINN, a corporate communications agency where he advises startups and multinationals on their PR and Mustr, the easiest media database for PR professionals. You can contact him on Twitter, Linkedin or Skype (rafweverbergh).

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