Brussels, Belgium - 27 April 2022
We all have a digital skills gap. What’s yours?
Maybe you deleted your last interview recording by mistake? Or, you published your article before it was ready? Digital skills are not a given. In fact, every 2 out of 3 Europeans with low digital skills will need successful upskilling by 2025 to reach the targets set in the EU Digital Education Action Plan, a new study says.
ALL DIGITAL, HUAWEI, supported by EY, have collaborated to raise awareness about the digital skills gap ahead of the release of their new study. With the help of a quick quiz, every European can see what digital skills they can improve. The quiz aims to map and personify the digital skills gap with 6 distinct personas: The Lost Investigator, The Silent Communicator, The Clumsy Creator, The Exposed Protector, The Disconnected Programmer, The Confused Problem-solver.
The inspiration for these personas comes from the ﬁndings of the joint White Paper on digital skills and talent in the European Union. The study has been presented at a launch event on 27 April 2022 at Solvay Library in Brussels before a community of experts.
Carlos Zorrihno, Member of the European Parliament and Silent Communicator, thinks that:
“Every European citizen can beneﬁt from digital upskilling and reskilling initiatives. Regardless of how skilled and experienced we are, each and every one of us lacks particular digital skills as the quiz illustrates. We need to act now and take concrete action steps to boost lifelong learning, in an integrated perspectival, combining technological, social and emotional skills.”
While the White Paper explores in-depth the root causes of the digital skills gap in regards to ICT talent, the quiz raises awareness of our digital skills shortages and allows for a broader understanding of the problem. The White Paper also reveals possible solutions and concrete actions that key stakeholders can take to bridge the digital skills gap.
Chiara Riondino, Head of Unit Vocational Education and Training European Commission and Disconnected Programmer, believes that:
“We need a stronger drive and further investment in digital upskilling to equip people with the skills that are urgently required if we want to achieve fair and successful digital and green transitions. Governments, industry and education and training providers should work together closely to make it happen.”
The White Paper is structured around ﬁve particular areas of opportunity:
● Improve and increase ICT education and learning opportunities
● Prioritise talent within companies: up/re-skilling
● Encourage and support women in ICT
● Drive collaborative digital skills ecosystems
● Invest in the digitalisation of public services
Peter Palvolgyi, Chief Executive Ofﬁcer at ALL DIGITAL and Clumsy Creator, believes that:
“The White Paper on Digital Skills in Europe is an extremely insightful report that highlights strategies and initiatives to address the digital skills gap in the EU. It pays special attention to actions needed by industry and policymakers to ensure our European youth receives the skills they need to be successful in the modern digital economy.”
The study sheds light on some alarming ﬁndings - nearly 1 out of 5 employed ICT specialists had low overall digital skills, while almost 80% of the digital skills gap is due to digital skills mismatch, indicating there is an urgent need for digital upskilling.
Tony Jin, Huawei's Chief Representative to the European Institutions and Lost Investigator, says:
"We are working with our partners worldwide to develop a more robust digital talent ecosystem and drive broader digital inclusion. We believe that digital talent will play an essential role in advancing the digital economy. We will invest EUR 150 million in talent programs over the next ﬁve years, and we expect to beneﬁt more than three million more people. We want to bring the beneﬁts of digital technology to everyone."
In 2008, Huawei began launching talent development programs called Seeds for the Future, including scholarships, technology competitions, and digital skills training. The company has since beneﬁted 1.54 million people from over 150 countries. In 2021, Huawei launched the Seeds for the Future Program 2.0, which is part of its ongoing efforts to further develop talent.
The EU study is one of the four talent White Paper series, covering Spain, South Africa and China. The other three papers will be released separately in May.