Brussels, 11 November 2013
Employment: European Vacancy Monitor highlights opportunities in ICT jobs for young workers
Employment continues to grow in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector , with a 2% increase in the number of employees between 2011 and 2012 in 26 EU Member States (Ireland and Croatia are excluded for methodological reasons). The last issue of the European Vacancy Monitor (EVM) highlights the importance of this sector as a source of employment, including for younger workers. At the same time the report warns that the declining number of tertiary students in the ICT field is likely to lead to future staff shortages in the sector.
The EVM also confirms a stagnation in the total number of vacancies in the first quarter of 2013, as well as a fall of 2% in hirings in the EU 27 between the first quarters of 2012 and 2013. Hirings decreased in most occupations groups including professionals.
Against this trend, software and applications developers and analysts continue to be among the top occupations in a ranking of the top 25 occupations with the highest growth in employees, after primary school and early childhood teachers and business services and administration managers.
Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, László Andor, said: "This report reinforces our commitment to support the digital economy and the improvement of digital skills. As the last European Council has underlined, new investments in digital infrastructure are needed, as well as in education and training to fill future vacancies".
The EVM highlights that in many countries ICT occupations are an important source of employment for young people. In Latvia, Malta, Estonia, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Cyprus, Romania, Poland and Austria more than one in three ICT employees is between 15 and 29 years old. This is much higher compared to a share of 18% in the EU across all tertiary educated workers.
However, the number of students following computer science courses has been falling and their share in the total number of students in higher education dropped from 5 to 4% between 2004 and 2011 according to Eurostat. Therefore, action is needed to encourage more young people to follow relevant studies and, in particular, more women, since less than one in five ICT workers were women in 2012 in EU27.
To address this concern, the Commission is leading the Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs, an EU wide multi-stakeholder partnership helping to address a shortfall in the number of European citizens with ICT professional skills and to exploit the employment creation potential of ICT (see IP/13/182)
The importance of the ICT sector for job creation in Europe was highlighted in the Commission's April 2012 Employment Package (see IP/12/380 and MEMO/12/252), which included a Commission staff working document on exploiting the employment potential of Information and Communication Technologies.
In 2012, there were 4.3 million employees in ICT occupations in the EU, with France, Germany and United Kingdom accounting for around half the total.
The European Vacancy Monitor is a quarterly bulletin published by the European Commission Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion Directorate General. This publication is part of the Europe 2020 flagship initiative ‘An Agenda for New Skills and Jobs’ and, together with the European Job Mobility Bulletin and the European Vacancy and Recruitment Report, serves to give an updated surveillance on labour market developments in Europe.
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