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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 6 May 2014

e-Skills: Commission launches new campaign; Greek Coalition for Digital Jobs and Skills

Demand for jobs requiring digital skills is growing rapidly – and likely to create a skills shortage that may leave up to one million positions vacant by 2020 in Europe. The Commission has identified ICT as one of three employment growth areas and to raise awareness on e-skills the Commission launches today in Athens the “e-Skills for Jobs” campaign together with the Hellenic Presidency of the EU's Council of Ministers.

A new study released today e-Skills in Europe: measuring Progress and Moving Ahead shows the trend towards higher-level ICT skills will continue. The main forecast scenario suggests that by 2020 the number of ICT management, architecture and analysis jobs grows by 44% compared to 2011, and related jobs by 16%. Mid-level technician jobs will continue to disappear as a result of automation and productivity gains. Consequently, the study claims that there is a corresponding need to increase the quality and relevance of e-skills available in the labour market, particularly since the supply of university graduates is not keeping pace. More than 60% of Europe’s digital jobs vacancies are in UK, Germany, Italy and France.

Michel Barnier, acting Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship, said: Digital skills are the new literacy: they are essential for employability. I am concerned that the lack of e-skills may be hindering growth in the tech sector and, as a consequence, European innovation and competitiveness. Today's decision to launch the e-Skills for Jobs campaign is an important step to help prepare young people for the jobs of today and tomorrow."

European Commission Vice-President @NeelieKroesEU said: "There is constant digital job growth in Europe despite the crisis. I am glad Greece joins our vision for offering all Europeans the digital skills they need. The Greek Coalition is an inspiring model for other countries that should also move forward with their own coalitions."

European Commissioner László Andor said: "I welcome the launch of the Greek National Coalition for the Digital Economy as a concrete example of how Member States and the ICT industry can work together to maximise the job creation potential of the sector. We must continue our efforts to ensure ICT employers can find young people with the skills they are looking for. If the ICT jobs gap is filled, everybody wins."

New Greek Coalition

Today, the Greek Government and ICT industry will establish the Greek National Coalition for the Digital Economy, aimed at young people and potential entrepreneurs. A Memorandum of Understanding will be signed at the e-Skills for Jobs 2014 Grand Event.

Greece is the sixth EU country to formally launch a national coalition, after Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Malta. Other National Coalitions are being set up in Austria, Bulgaria, Italy, Slovakia and Spain.

The 9 Greek Coalition partners (see full list in Annex) commit to developing an Action Plan within the next 3 months and to include more partners in the near future (ICT businesses, universities, SMEs associations, public and private employment agencies, etc.). The coalition builds on the Women & Girls Go Digital in Greece initiative, which brought together 21 Greek and other European partners (government, universities, businesses etc.) to enhance women's digital skills and their role in the technology sector.

Now over 50 partners in EU’s Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs

Today another three organisations join the Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs, pledging to recruit, train and raise awareness on digital skills:

  • Adobe Foundation will extend the Adobe Youth Voices (AYV) programme to at least 4 new countries in Europe in the next 2 years, with the aim of reaching at least 500 educators and 22500 additional students by the end of 2015;

  • Altran “Campus Team” project will recruit 300 young graduates with an engineering degree per year. It will also offer them ICT training through the Altran Academy programmes;

  • CSR Europe will double the engagement between business representatives and educational players, reaching at least 50,000 teachers by 2020, through its network of more than 5,000 businesses across Europe.

Find all 50 pledges made so far the Commission launched the Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs in March 2013 to tackle an anticipated shortage of up to 900,000 ICT professionals by 2020. In addition to Amsterdam Metropolitan Area and Basque Country two more local/regional coalitions have already been launched in Scotland and Northern Ireland. 

Member States initiatives show mixed picture

Member States are increasing their efforts although many still lack a strategy. Of all of them, twelve show a value of 3 or higher on the 5-point index scale. The more active countries are: UK, Ireland, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, France, Malta, The Netherlands and Sweden. Countries with significant activity in the e-skills domain have the highest share of ICT workers in their workforce and rank highest on innovation and competitiveness indices.

More information

@eSkillsGrowthEU #es4jEU #eskills4jobsgr @sepegr

e-Skills for Jobs campaign in Europe.

Report “e-Skills in Europe: measuring Progress and Moving Ahead”

e-Skills for the 21st Century

Speech by President Barroso – "Filling the gaps: e-skills and education for digital jobs"

Contacts :

Carlo Corazza (+32 2 295 17 52)

Ryan Heath (+32 2 296 17 16)

Jonathan Todd (+32 2 299 41 07)

ANNEX: The Greek National Coalition is set up by the following organizations:

Ministry of Education, Lifelong Learning and Religious Affairs, represented by Minister Konstantinos Arvanitopoulos @carvanitopoulos

Ministry of Labour and Social Security, represented by Minister Ioannis Vroutsis (Facebook)

Ministry of Competitiveness, Development and Shipping, represented by Minister Kostis Hatzidakis @K_Hatzidakis

Ministry of Administrative Reform and E-Governance, represented by Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis @kmitsotakis

Ministry of Infrastructure, Transport and Networks, represented by Minister Michalis Chrisochoidis @chrisochoidis

General Secretariat of Mass Media, represented by General Secretary Ioannis Panagiotopoulos @GGMEofficial

General Secretariat of Gender Equality, represented by General Secretary Vasso Kollia (on Facebook)

General Secretariat of Youth, represented by General Secretary Panagiotis Kanellopoulos @GGNeasGenias

Federation of Hellenic ICT Enterprises, represented by the President of the Board of Directors, Anastasios Tzikas @SEPEgr

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