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European IT workers to use standardised CV system

Announced as part of the European Commissioner's Digital Agenda for the next decade, the new system is intended to aid cross-border mobility

A new system will be created to make it easier for information and communications technology workers to find work across European borders, the European Commission has pledged.

According to the commission's Digital Agenda, published on Wednesday, the EU must "develop tools to identify and recognise the competencies of ICT practitioners and users" by 2012, with the aim of boosting those skills and making it easier for IT workers to move around Europe. The move is part of a wider strategy for improving technology skills and literacy in the EU.

"The precise details are yet to be worked out," Jonathan Todd, the spokesman for Digital Agenda commissioner Neelie Kroes, told ZDNet UK on Wednesday. He explained that the commission is thinking of modelling the new system on the Europass CV, which grades a person's ability to speak a particular language using a common classification system.

"We're thinking about doing something similar for ICT skills, so everyone around Europe would know when they get a CV using this format that a person's skills corresponded to a particular level," Todd said. The system will be linked to the European Qualifications Framework.

The plan lays out the European Commission's roadmap for IT-related issues over the next decade. It touches on areas such as broadband provision, digital inclusion, a single digital market and cybersecurity for the region.

In the ICT skills and literacy parts of the agenda, the commission also said it will draw on different sectors of the economy to form a council that will look at the supply and demand of ICT skills and jobs.

In addition, it said it plans to encourage more young women and women returners to be part of the ICT workforce "through support for web-based training resources, game based e-learning and social networking".

By 2011, a consumer education tool covering new media technologies must be developed, according to the agenda. This tool will provide information for the public and teachers in areas such as consumer rights on the internet, e-commerce, data protection, media literacy and social networks.

The commission is also calling for proposals to ensure that public sector websites are fully accessible, with these to be submitted by next year. By 2012, a memorandum of understanding on digital access for the disabled must also be compiled, it said.