The Head of the European Commission’s Representation in Paris, Isabelle Jégouzo described a broader context of creating such multi-stakeholder partnerships across Europe under the Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition. Gilles Babinet, Digital Champion for France highlighted the need to influence policy makers in order to create policies supporting digital skills development, including more unconventional approaches to education.
“The challenge is to ensure that every French citizen has sufficient knowledge of the digital economy and how citizens are digitally connected in in our modern society. As for the workforce, there is a high demand for new technical skills. Jobs of around 50% of the employees will soon be significantly or profoundly transformed. A considerable proportion of the labor force will have to rapidly acquire or improve advance their numerical, cognitive, social and situational skills” said Olivier Midière, MEDEF’s ambassador for digital.
The French National Coalition coordinated and led by MEDEF, has already involved more than 50 organisations such as Adecco, AFPA, the Digital Agency, APEC, Pasc @ line, CFDT, Cigref, Grande École du Numérique, Groupe BPCE, the Group of Industrial Federations, the Ministry of National Education, the Greater East Region, Simplon, Sodexo, Union des Industries Chimiques (UIC) to name a few.
The French National Coalition will carry out an inventory of the existing competences, initiatives and good practices in the field of digital skills in France, Europe and the world. It will bring together more local and national actors active in digital matters (administrations, associations, NGOs, professional organisations, companies, trade unions, etc.). Eventually, will carry concrete actions throughout the country. In order to manage the work of the French National Coalition four working groups comprised of the labor force, education and digital professionals and the general public have been created:. In January 2018 the coalition will make a progress report presenting the state of its work.
Currently, there are around one million jobs in the digital sector in France . By 2022 up to 212,000 new jobs in this sector are foreseen to be created . France has already experienced a significant shortage of technical skills in the field of computer science and electronics and a more moderate shortage in engineering, mechanical engineering, and telecommunications.