Monday, March 04 14:55:33
A major drive to boost jobs and match young unemployed with large numbers of existing vacancies is behind a major new European initiative aimed at addressing the predicted 900,000 ICT vacancies by 2015.
Among the initiatives that will be introduced are improved training and skills matching, led by Europe's top ICT employers; a common EU certification system for ICT skills; and assistance services and funding to enable ICT workers to move within the EU to areas where demand for their skills is highest, according to Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton.
The Minister made the comments as he joined EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and other Commissioners as well as Europe's leading ICT employers, ICT training providers, public employment services and other stakeholders to launch a major new initiative to improve ICT training and matching for ICT workers, young job seekers and the unemployed across the EU.
There will be up to 900,000 unfilled ICT positions in the EU by 2015, and action is needed now if Europe's businesses, young job seekers and unemployed are not to miss the major opportunities presented by filling this ICT skills gap, Minister Bruton said.
As Chair of the Council of Employment Ministers during the Irish Presidency of the EU, Minister Bruton helped launch the new EU initiative.
He was joined by European Commission President Barroso, Commission Vice President in charge of the Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, Laszlo Andor and Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, Androulla Vassiliou. Senior management from Europe's leading ICT employers including Google, Microsoft, HP, SAP and Cisco Systems were also in attendance.
In February, Minister Bruton chaired a special workshop focused on the employment potential of Europe's ICT sector, as part of an informal meeting of EU Employment Ministers in Dublin. The workshop's findings were fed into the preparations for the Grand Coalition initiative. At the Dublin event, EU Ministers agreed that ensuring adequate ICT skills supply will be a crucial part of increasing employment in the EU. They also received a briefing on the measures taken in Ireland under the ICT Action Plan to ensure increased ICT skills supply.
"The Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs is a hugely important initiative. Job creation and economic growth are at its core. Reflecting our domestic priorities, job creation in Europe is a top priority of the Irish Presidency of the Council of the EU," he said.