The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness of the need for citizens to improve their command of information and communication technology (ICT) skills for work. The campaign is a response to the growing demand for ICT-skilled professionals which is currently not met, despite high levels of unemployment in Europe.
At the same time that many Europeans are struggling to find work, technology companies face a critical shortfall in ICT workers. Europe may experience a shortage of up to 900,000 ICT professionals by 2015, risking growth and competitiveness. Women are also significantly under-represented in ICT related jobs: less than 30% of the ICT workforce is female. Furthermore, a growing percentage of all jobs today require an understanding of ICT. Yet, half of all citizens in the European Union have no or low computer skills.
The e-Skills for Jobs campaign encourages citizens to develop their digital skills and access today’s job market. The campaign has been launched under the European Commission’s Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs, a multi-stakeholder partnership to address the shortfall in e-Skills among Europeans and encourage people to fully exploit the potential employment opportunities that ICT provides.
The campaign comprises hundreds of national and European level events as well as skills competitions, social media marketing and lobbying. Key targets groups are young people, unemployed people, ICT practitioners, enterprises (in particular SMEs) as well as business leaders and policy makers.
The European Commission is committed to organise further campaigns in 2015-2016.