e-skills are vital to both employed and unemployed

24 Feb 2010

It is essential that Ireland prioritises the need for people to train themselves with e-skills which will be needed in order for Ireland to develop as a smart economy, the CEO of Fastrack to IT (FIT) said today.

FIT CEO Peter Davitt said e-skills are vital to both the employed and unemployed ahead of EU e-Skills week which takes place 1-5 March.

The FIT programme, an industry-led initiative, works in close collaboration with government departments, education and training providers like FAS and the VEC, as well as community organisations.

Almost 10 years after the Fast-track to IT (FIT) programme was developed with the IT industry, some 5,000 people are now in full-time employment.

The original ethos of the programme was to help job seekers participate in the knowledge economy and to date some 8,000 people have graduated from FIT courses.

EU e-Skills Week is taking place across Europe to raise the level of awareness around the importance of e-skills for the future of the entire European economy.

About EU e-Skills Week 2010

EU e-Skills Week 2010 highlights the growing demand for skilled ICT users and professionals to drive a competitive and innovative Europe. The campaign seeks to inform students, young professionals and SMEs about the vast range of opportunities that ICT-related jobs present. The campaign ultimately aims to increase ICT skills among professionals and to encourage more young people to take up ICT studies and careers.

“e-skills are increasingly important to both the employed and the unemployed,” Davitt said.

“It is essential that Ireland prioritises the need for people to train themselves with e-skills which will be needed in order for Ireland to develop as a smart economy. Ultimately, the goal must be to exploit new sectors such as cloud computing, smart grid and eco technologies in an inclusive way that responds to the current jobs crisis across EU economies.”

The Minister for Science Technology, Innovation and Natural Resources Conor Lenihan TD will open e-Skills Week at a launch event, ‘Smart Futures’ on 1 March.

The event, organised by FIT, Engineers Ireland, ICT Ireland and Discover Science and Engineering, aims to highlight the importance of e-skills for students. Engineers and ICT professionals who volunteer as part of the ICT Champions programme will attend this event in preparation for visiting schools to encourage students to learn about careers in ICT.

“I know that these skills are the ones that will bring employment to people and will make this country competitive and innovative in Europe and elsewhere,” said Lenihan.

On 5 March, a seminar entitled ‘e-Skills for Lifelong Learning’ will be addressed by the Minister for Lifelong Learning Sean Haughey TD. This event will open with an introduction by Martin Territ, director of the European Commission in Ireland.

This will involve leading experts in panel discussions entitled ‘Smart Teachers – Smart Learners’ and ‘Competing with E-Skills’. Both will include presentations and input from representatives of education and the ICT industry in Ireland.

By John Kennedy

Photo: Minister for Science Technology, Innovation and Natural Resources Conor Lenihan TD

John Kennedy
By John Kennedy

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist. He joined Silicon Republic in 2002 to become the fulcrum of the company’s news service He was recipient of the Irish Internet Association’s NetVisionary Technology Journalist Award 2005 and Siliconrepublic.com has been awarded ‘Best Technology Site’ at the Irish Web Awards seven times. In 2011 he received the David Manley Award commending him for his dedication to covering entrepreneurs. His interests include all things technological, music, movies, reading, history, gaming and losing the occasional game of poker.

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