TheEuropean Commission's mid-term review of the Digital Single Market Strategy provides an opportunity for the European Commission to reiterate its concerns about the digital skills shortage in Europe.
According to the Commission, 90% of all jobs already require "a minimum of digital skills, which are also increasingly required for participation in social and civic activities".
While approximately 2 million ICT specialist positions have been created in the EU over the past 10 years, the Commission observes that 4 out of 10 European companies looking to hire ICT specialists in 2015 reported difficulties in filling vacancies.
According to the Commission, 44 percent of the EU's population and 37 percent of its workforce lacked sufficient digital skills in 2016. "It is worrying that around half of European companies have still not implemented strategies to reskill their workforce. Workers need to learn the new skills that will allow them to take advantage of the arrival of new technologies. This will not happen without massive investment."Despite the many reforms undertaken across the EU, the Commission remains concerned and believes that there is a clear need for further action and progress on skills by Member States. The rapid evolution of our economy and society contrasts with the slow evolution of the way people are educated and trained. At the current rate, there is a growing gap between the skills EU citizens have and the skills they need. Member States must act, and the Commission is ready to help them with policy support, research assistance and concrete tools to modernise their education and training systems.Rapid implementation by Member States of the skills strategy and initiatives must be a priority in accompanying the digital transformation.
The Commission calls on Member States to implement the new skills strategy quickly. It will launch the Digital Opportunity program in 2018 to promote digital internships in other countries in 2018.