EU expects 900,000 unfilled IT jobs in 2015

The European Commission releases statistics about the progress of the Digital Agenda, calling for more people to improve their digital skills

The European Commission (EC) claims there will be 900,000 unfilled IT jobs across the EU in 2015.

In a video released by the EC, it presented a number of figures on the progress of its "Digital Agenda", saying there would be a “grand coalition for digital jobs” in the next two years.

However, it also warned 22% of European citizens had still never used the internet and only 51% claimed to have medium or high-level internet skills, meaning there could be a lack of workers to fill the roles.

Other statistics from the video showed broadband coverage, including wired and wireless, reached 99.9% of EU citizens in 2012, with 95.5% having access to fixed connections. However, this number significantly dropped to 83% in rural areas.

Fast broadband – defined as connections over 30Mbps – was available to 54% of the population in 2012, almost double the number in 2010. However, superfast broadband – connections above 100Mbps – were only subscribed to by 2% of citizens, which the EC hopes to grow to 50% by 2020.

The EC also put out a warning around advertised speeds and the reality. While the average achieved by EU citizens came in at 19.5Mbps, it said this was only 74% of the advertised average speed, meaning users may be losing out.

The figures come as the European commissioner for the digital agenda, Neelie Kroes, confirmed more investment into next generation networks across Europe, hoping to bring all states onto the same page when it comes to telecoms.

The recommendations include guidance to national regulators around price regulation, the encouragement of alternative operators and a methodology to calculate the cost of accessing copper networks.

However, Kroes still believed there was a lot further to go.

“Those measures still don’t go far enough,” she wrote on her blog. “The sector still faces too many borders and barriers [as] with 28 different systems of regulation, companies get stuck in national markets, unable to find the economies of scale to invest large-scale or compete globally.

“Today’s agreement is a big step forward – but really, it’s just the first step towards a connected, competitive continent.”

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