Firms push for IT skills focus at EU summit

Employers are to press governments to take urgent action in tackling the IT skills shortage at a European Union summit in Lisbon...

Employers are to press governments to take urgent action in tackling the IT skills shortage at a European Union summit in Lisbon this week

Bill Goodwin .

Employers believe IT skills should play a crucial role in the summit's plans to agree a common strategy to develop e-commerce in Europe.

The call to action from Growth Plus, a consortium of 500 of Europe's top IT employers, urges governments to take immediate action, by:

  • Using private/public sector partnerships to tackle skills shortages

  • Increasing the amount spent on IT training

  • Offering tax incentives to companies to encourage them to invest in IT training

  • Reformingbankruptcy laws to encourage more IT and Internet start-ups.

    The call follows predictions that 1.7 million IT jobs will remain unfilled across Europe by 2003, because of a shortage of skilled workers.

    Employers claim the shortage is slowing down IT adoption and damaging European competitiveness.

    Ministers at the summit are expected to unveil a series of proposals to encourage the development of e-commerce, which will include issuing tenders on the Internet, increased competition between communications companies, and the introduction of common e-commerce standards.

    The summit is also expected to agree plans to promote the take-up of the European Computer Driving Licence, a basic IT skills qualification following its widespread adoption in Ireland.

  • Read more on IT jobs and recruitment

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