The crisis has cost Europe almost 5.6 million jobs and it will only be possible to recover them if European industry takes advantage of the full potential of information and communication technologies (ICT).
If Europe wants to attract business it has to act smarter and create innovation. Most of the time, this means more ICT. Europe, like the rest of the world, is currently shaken by a serious and deep economic crisis this is the time to plant the seed to build the future.
This future is one where Europe keeps pace as an innovative society, where businesses and individuals can flourish with access to excellent education, where a dynamic economy grows in a sustainable manner and where new career opportunities are created in all sectors across the continent.
ICT professionals were not affected by the crisis. In fact, there was a strong request for them while other jobs were being cut. Hence, ICT can contribute strongly to the economic recovery due to its pervasiveness and ability to foster growth. The risk is that if Europeans lack the necessary e- Skills, the relatively high-intensive skills profiles will move to where the population has the right e-Skills.
The pervasiveness of ICT and the incredible technological developments of recent years have impacted on most segments of the population, society and economy. Just a few years ago, the cost of “digital ignorance” was not really considered. Today, it is impossible to ignore the cost of such ignorance.
The importance of e-Skills is also reflected in the European Commission’s focus within many of the flagships of the Europe 2020 strategy and in the Commission’s future policies. Will National and local Governments follow suit?
Pilar Del Castillo, MEP and EIF Chair
Fiona Fanning, EU Affairs Manager at ECDL Foundation
Markus Schwarz, Senior Vice President & Global Head of SAP Education
Karl Cox, EMEA Vice President for Public Policy and Corporate Affairs at Oracle Corporation