This huge amount of up-skilling can only be achieved with e-skills. It is a precondition to become employable, learn and find a job online.
Numerous activities and events will take place during the e-Skills Week in Europe. To learn about them and get the latest information, please look at the website: http://eskills-week.ec.europa.eu
Malta is taking part with five days of dynamic activities. E-Skills Week Malta will highlight the importance of developing e-skills for life, as well as how to get a job in the digital age.
“This is an activity that will be taking place across Europe, following on from a similar, successful symposium that took place in 2010,” explains John Ambrogio, Chairperson of the eSkills Alliance. “This is all part of a wider bid to help young people to seize the best opportunities for jobs generated through digital technologies and the ICT sector as a whole.”
The Malta Information Technology Agency (MITA) and e-skills UK are collaborating on a national licence of IT Professional Standards on which local standards for information technology will be based.
MITA and the research institution INSEAD eLab are also developing a Maltese e-Skills Demand and Supply Monitor. The monitor will study the present and forecasted availability of e-skills and how this meets the anticipated demand from industry.
Over the last ten years business leaders in Europe stressed that the EU was not producing enough ICT practitioners. E-skills bring a premium to highly-skilled workers in a fast growing area while those with low or inadequate qualifications and skills are even more vulnerable. As industry is increasingly sourcing talents wherever they are available on a world-wide basis, e-skills are crucial for the competitiveness and the attractiveness of Europe as a region.
Additionally, Europe faces growing unemployment with 23 million people out of work, and youth unemployment at 21%. The OECD has produced research indicating that higher education has a quantitative impact on employability and earnings potential.2 Statistics released in 2011 show that across the OECD countries, 83.6% of people between 25 and 64 with tertiary education were in employment, compared to 56% of those without an upper secondary education. Similarly, the earnings gap between people with higher education and those without has been estimated at 57%.
In this context, the crisis revealed deep structural weaknesses in our labour markets. The unemployment rate hit a new high at 10.1% in the EU in January 2012. Youth unemployment reached a new historic high of 22.4%. It is higher than 20% in about two-thirds of countries and close to 50% in Spain and Greece, while it is less than 10% in Germany, Austria and the Netherlands. This growing demand contrasts with a decreasing number of ICT graduates since 2005.
To remedy this situation, the Commission adopted a Communication in 2007 on "e-Skills for the 21st Century" which include a long term e-skills strategy. Good progress has been made: a European e-competence framework is available, Member States are increasingly designing e-skills initiatives and many partnerships have been initiated by the ICT industry. But this is not enough: we need to accelerate and intensify our efforts.