Reuters have just reported that Europe are likely to fail to compete in a rapidly digitizing economy because young Europeans lack basic digital skills.
With 24 million people out of work, research by the European Commission estimates the shortfall of school leavers and graduates with required IT and digital skills could hit 700,000 by 2015, a deficit that will particularly affect leading digital economies such as Britain, France,and Germany.
"Young people need to appreciate the professional aspects of the new digital world," said Antonio Tajani, the European commissioner for industry and entrepreneurship. He has been responsible for pioneering “e-skills week” – a series of events to draw attention to the problem but also to find solutions. "This is more important than ever in the current economic context. And it is crucial to increase creativity which will favour entrepreneurship and new start-ups."
It is notable that the United States and China are making economic headway which will create more requirement for highly qualified people. The expectation that the rise by 2020 will be by 16 million, whilst the rise for low-skilled workers will decline by as much as 12 milion.
Are we addressing this with the urgency we really should? Here in Europe, we are working against a ticking clock to increase training and acquired digital skills amongst our youth. If we do not, we will be left behind and may struggle to ever catch up.