When the European Tech & Industry Employers present their insights on ‘Digitalisation and the World of Skills and Education’ one can feel the risk of lagging digitally behind. However, if each partner takes its fair share, the consequences of losing jobs and competitivity would be limited.
Digitalisation holds immense potential for companies and society, but the mismatch between skills demand and supply is still not properly dealt with. 100,000s of job vacancies across Europe remains open, putting the future of industry in Europe and its top level social standards in danger.
The publication recommends actions for the EU, governments, education providers, employers and individuals to avoid sliding from a skills shortage into a skills crisis. 5 key learnings stand out:
Only lifelong learning can counter reducing half-life of knowledge that is widening skills gap;
Change structures, less so contents: an agile labour market requires a responsive education and training system;
Cherish every talent we have. Focus on STEM (Science, Tech, Engineering & Math) and make VET (Vocational Education & Training) a 1st choice for learners;
Learning of digital technology & skills across all curricula with appropriate teaching methods needs to be integrated;
Don’t neglect digital savvy leadership to create new business (models).
Ceemet’s Director General, Uwe Combüchen, states that “industry’s role can be summarized as C3: cooperation, coordination, communication. This fits if all stakeholders would be open to develop efficient pathways and solutions.”
Each partner taking its fair share would allow industry and society to capitalise on the opportunities of digitalisation. If properly dealt with, a good digital skills set can narrow the social inequality gap and strengthen the EU’s leadership and stay ahead of global economy and society impacting technologies.
It is a classic win-win-situation and much is at stake. We have heard this before. The time to determine how we can deliver training that meets the rapidly emerging demands and putting that into place, is now.