Citizens need to prepare for the future jobs market and engagement in society through enhanced web skills, the European Commission said today.
Bringing a close to the EU’s E-Skills Week, Martin Territt, director of the European Commission Representation in Ireland, emphasised that developing e-learning strategies are a core part of the commission’s newly launched Europe 2020 Agenda, which road maps the future economy.
“The European Commissions’ e-Skills Week should help promote awareness of high-skilled ICT employment, which is interesting, creative and well paid,” Territt explained.
“But it should also emphasise to everybody that they can live independent and sustainable digital lifestyles and fully participate in today’s knowledge society,” he added.
The purpose of e-Skills Week 2010
EU e-Skills Week 2010 has taken place across Europe to raise the level of awareness around the importance of e-skills for the future of the European economy.
The campaign aims to inform students, young professionals and SMEs about the vast range of opportunities that ICT-related jobs present. Ultimately, the campaign aims to increase ICT skills among professionals and encourage more young people to take up ICT studies and careers.
The Minister for Lifelong Learning, Sean Haughey TD, addressed the conference by saying the European project involved about 300,000 people, participating in more than 100 activities, including training sessions, school visits and competitions.
The conference also included sessions with leading experts from industry and academia to discuss ‘Smart Teachers – Smart Learners’, ‘eSkills for SMEs’ and ‘Competing with E-Skills’ in Ireland.
Peter Davitt, CEO of FIT (Fast Track to IT) who are lead partners of this initiative in Ireland, said: “Ensuring that people have the right skills is just as important to increase employability and help create today’s and tomorrow’s jobs. This is particularly important in the context of creating an inclusive smart economy where smart skills, not just degrees and PhDs, will be essential.
“Earlier in the week, FAS and the ESRI announced that up to 250,000 additional jobs will be created in the next five years, this was followed by the IDA’s expectation that it will create 105,000 jobs between now and 2014.
“The majority of these jobs will be technology driven and the onus is on us to prepare today for recovery tomorrow. E-Skills Week has focused on all sectors of society, earlier in the week we looked at ways of encouraging more young people to take up science and technology-related subjects and today we have moved on to look at e-skills in the context of lifelong learning.”
Fiona Mullan, HR director of Microsoft Ireland and chair of FIT, said that if Ireland is to become a true smart economy and compete globally, then we need to start providing people with the tools they require at school and ensure that over the course of a career those vital e-skills are continually developed.
“We need to begin with our teachers. If they have access to continuous professional development they can ignite that spark and thirst for knowledge that we hope will encourage students to continue the development of their e-skills which will be vital for success in any career."
By John Kennedy
Photo: EU e-Skills Week 2010 has aimed to inform students, young professionals and SMEs about the range of opportunities presented by ICT-related jobs