Hot on the heels of new research by specialist recruiter Randstad Technologies, which showed that the UK alone faced a huge skills gap in the IT sector by 2050, the European Commission has called for Europe-wide action to address the problem.
Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, EU vice-president Neelie Kroes said:
“The digital skills gap is growing, like our unemployment queues. We need joint action between governments and companies to bridge that gap. The information and communication sector is the new backbone of Europe’s economy, and together we can prevent a lost generation and an uncompetitive Europe.”
Without urgent action to start dealing with the skills deficit immediately, the EC believes that this backbone could be jeopardised.
Ms. Kroes revealed that several big tech firms had already committed themselves to acting, including Nokia, Cisco and SAP, as well as recruitment specialist Randstad. She added that she was expecting solid pledges from other companies to add to the list.
The pledges sought by the commission include action to provide start-up funding, training, internships, new jobs and improvements in school and university curricula. Labour mobility should also be assisted.
Randstad’s CEO, Ben Noteboom, said that the scarcity of IT skills is every-increasing throughout Europe, adding: “We look forward to supporting the digital agenda and most importantly increasing employment in IT. This will be an ongoing commitment for the EC’s 2020 road map and beyond.”
Needless to say, specialists working in the field of IT contracting could well find many more opportunities opening up, not simply on these shores but also across the European continent, if the EC’s call to action comes to fruition.