Despite the current levels of unemployment, the number of digital jobs is growing by more than 100 000 per year. Yet the number of fresh ICT graduates and skilled ICT workers is not keeping up.
President Barroso said: "The Grand Coalition we launch today is an essential part of getting Europe's economy back on track and finding jobs for some of Europe's 26 million unemployed. I applaud those companies who have signed up today. If, together, we can turn the tide and fill the growing number of ICT vacancies, we will see a much wider impact across the whole economy. We want to empower Europeans to fill the jobs that will drive the next ICT revolution."
Initial commitments from stakeholders have been endorsed with over 15 companies and organisations signing up to the Grand Coalition. Among the first pledges to come to life is a new online learning platform for young people called the Academy Cube and a new training module for energy smart grid installers.
The Commission has sought pledges in the following key areas:
- Training and matching for digital jobs – to help ensure the skills people are getting are the skills business needs;
- Mobility – helping those with skills get to the place where they're needed, to avoid shortages and surpluses in different towns and cities;
- Certification – making it easier to prove to an employer what skills one has, regardless of the country;
- Awareness raising – so that people know the digital sector offers rewarding and enjoyable careers to both women and men;
- Innovative learning and teaching – so our education and training systems expand and improve to give more people the skills for success.
Rethinking and Opening up Education
The Commission launched its Rethinking Education strategy in November 2012. It calls for more investment to improve vocational education and training systems, especially in the area of ICT. The strategy also offers insights into how investments in education can be targeted to maximise their impact in times of financial austerity.
In addition, Opening up Education, a joint initiative by Androulla Vassiliou and Neelie Kroes which aims to make education more accessible through technology and open educational resources, is set to be adopted this summer.