What can be done to bridge the gap between the supply and demand for digital skills? While the results of the European “e-Skills for Jobs” campaign are encouraging, there is still a lot of work to be done.

The European campaign entitled “e-Skills for Jobs” came to an end on October 18th, with a final conference in Bratislava on the theme: “Europe in the Digital era – where skills are making the difference”.

This conference showed that the various e-Skills campaigns carried out since 2010 (and in which Agoria has been actively involved) have helped bridge the gap between the supply and demand for e-skills. For instance, while it was estimated in 2010 that there would be a shortage of one million IT specialists in 2020, this number was reduced to 756,000 in 2015.

The various multimedia campaigns, which led to more than 5,500 events being organised in the different Member States, have helped promote digital careers by reaching an audience 3.4 million young people.

We still have our work cut out, however. This is why Agoria is also participating in the new initiative of the European Commission which will officially kick off in December and will endeavour to set up national “Digital Skills and Jobs Coalitions” in order to remedy the shortage of digital skills among European workers and to fill the many vacancies in the ICT sector. The Belgian Coalition for Digital Skills and Jobs, known as “Digital Champions.be”, is the alliance of stakeholders from the different governments, academia and the private sector. This coalition is launching initiatives to enable all citizens to strengthen their digital skills. In order to support these initiatives, Agoria has also signed the Bratislava Declaration entitled “Digital Skills Making the Difference”, a guide containing recommendations on what to do to create more growth and jobs through digital skills.