While most (65pc) of Irish people possess some level of digital skills, more than half of Irish businesses that tried to recruit IT specialists in 2012 reported difficulties in filling the vacancies, the European Commission’s annual Digital Agenda Scoreboard shows.
The EU itself is also in need of highly skilled ICT professionals, the scoreboard suggests.
“While ICT professional employment has grown by an average 3pc over the last 10 years, graduate numbers have decreased. As a result, it has been projected that by 2015 there may be as many as 900,000 unfilled vacancies for ICT professionals in the EU,” the Digital Agenda Scoreboard reports.
- The average percentage of people in Europe with digital skills is 67pc. Iceland and Norway exceed that average the most, with about 90pc of their populations possessing digital skills.
Source: Digital Agenda Scoreboard
The report states this gap is a threat to European competitiveness, not only to the ICT sector itself, but to the economy as a whole, given the growing integration of ICT across the economy.
The European Commission and companies themselves are taking action to address this skills gap, however, the scoreboard shows.
The European Commission recently launched the ‘Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs’, an EU-wide multi-stakeholder partnership, with the goal of increasing the number of ICT professionals by 2015, so there are at least enough by 2020.
In addition, 9pc of EU enterprises provided their ICT specialists with training to upgrade their ICT skills in 2011. Seventeen per cent of EU enterprises provided training for other staff to develop their ICT skills.