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Brussels, 25th September 2002

e-Skills: Copenhagen Summit on bridging the e-skills gap

Policy measures to help match e-skills demand and supply across Europe will be debated at the e-Skills Summit at the Bella Center in Copenhagen on 17-18 October 2002. Organised by the European Commission, the EU's Danish Presidency and a consortium of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industries, this summit is part of the follow-up to the EU Action Plan on skills and mobility, approved by the Commission in February 2002 and endorsed by the March 2002 Barcelona European Council. Improving the availability of e-skilled professionals is widely viewed as vital to Europe's strategic aim of becoming the world's most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy by 2010.

"The economic downturn and structural change in the ICT sector make it more necessary than ever to invest in ICT and e-business skills, and encourage all businesses to exploit their potential. These skills are essential not only to enhance our economic competitiveness, but ensure Europe's long term economic and social sustainability" says Enterprise and Information Society Commissioner Erkki Liikanen.

The size of the ICT skills gap/mismatch, although much debated, is widely perceived as a threat to the achievement of the competitiveness goals endorsed by EU leaders in Lisbon in March 2000.

The challenges that all stakeholders seeking to understand and fill the skills gap face include agreeing on a common methodological framework for defining, measuring and forecasting ICT and e-business skill needs and identifying best practice remedies in fields such as lifelong learning or attracting talents.

In this context, the e-Skills Summit is a unique opportunity to:

  • discuss the e-Economy and strategies and opportunities to boost competitiveness and job creation in Europe

  • share and benefit from best practices

  • liaise with leading practitioners and stakeholders in the field from the public and private sectors and

  • exhibit products, solutions, and/or services.

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