Workforce - Europe told to get with the program

28th February 2014 at 00:00
Top up e-skills for better job prospects, says EU campaign

A major campaign to help close Europe's "digital skills gap" has been launched by the European Commission.

The e-Skills for Jobs 2014 campaign aims to raise awareness of the need for people to improve their computing skills to meet demand from employers. It is part of the EC's ?1 million (pound;830,000) Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs set up last year.

By 2015, it is estimated that 90 per cent of all jobs will need e-skills. But the commission found that Europe's information and computer technology sector is facing a massive skills shortage, with a predicted 900,000 vacancies for IT-related roles across the continent over the next 12 months.

The campaign will raise awareness of the education, training, jobs and other opportunities available to people with e-skills.

A spokesman said: "e-Skills are essential for professionals working in small to medium-sized enterprises, [and] for young people and the unemployed looking to enter the workforce. They are also vital for corporations who need a highly skilled workforce."

He added that e-skills were more essential than ever to help Europe's economy "get back on its feet" while the continent struggled with a prolonged economic downturn. "People with strong e-skills will play a central role in making Europe an innovative and competitive environment," he said.

Events will take place through the year across the European Union, including "Get Online Week" (24 to 30 March), an annual event designed to encourage more people to use the internet to improve their skills.

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