On January 24th, more than 100 experts & officials from the industrial, academic & public sector gathered with Pan-European NGO leaders for the conference Towards a European Quality label for ICT industry training & ce...
The conference brought together representatives from the industry, ICT vendors, the education sector, independent certification & examination institutions, national employment agencies and from the staffing industry, together with officials from the four relevant DGs of the European Commission: Enterprise and industry, Education and Culture, Employment & Social Affairs and Communications Networks, Content & Technology.
Telecentre-Europe AISBL was represented by Mara Jakobsone (Chair), Gabriel Rissola (Managing Director) and Juan Francisco Delgado (Board Member).
Conference speakers addressed the problem of the upcoming and already existing shortage in the ICT workforce in Europe. Despite very high levels of unemployment, a lot of shortages in ICT skills have been identified. This mismatch between the skills available and the needs of the labour market, are a concern of all Member States, but affect them to varying degrees.
Remarkably, the demand for ICT practitioners continues to grow by around 3% a year and labour demand is outstripping the supply. Depending on the scenario to become a reality, up to 860.000 vacancies could exist by 2015, unless more is done to direct more young people into computing degrees and retrain unemployed people.
In this context, industry-based training & certification is part of the solution to reduce the mismatch & shortage in skills, and hence unemployment in general. Several European initiatives, in particular the CEN Workshop on ICT Skills, have been trying to address this issue by developing standards for competences (European e-Competence Framework) and ICT job profiles. The results of this project have been presented and discussed by the stakeholders at this conference .
At the conference, a broad consensus emerged that the e-competence framework and a widely-accepted quality label could help bring a new degree of focus to fill the impending e-skills gap.
Discussions among stakeholders are now starting on the next steps to take. In this context, a Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs will be officially launched on 4-5 March 2013 in Brussels, an event for which Telecentre-Europe AISBL is invited to participate.
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