IT skills shortage costing Europe 'billions'

The European Commission has called upon member states to tackle 'digital illiteracy' and the shortfall in qualified tech staff

Europe is losing out on billions in investment because of a shortfall in qualified tech staff.

The European Commission is warning that 40 percent of European citizens suffer from "digital illiteracy" and the skills shortage is slowing down the implementation of new projects.

European commissioner for information society and media, Viviane Reding, said that it is no longer possible to waste the talents of millions of Europeans by leaving them out of the information society.

"Shortfalls of qualified ICT practitioners slow down new ICT applications in the economy and draw away billions of euros of investment funds to dynamic emerging economies, where hundreds of thousands of new engineers are qualifying each year," she said in a statement.

The Commission has called upon member states to tackle the deepening digital skills crisis, and will supporting a number of initiatives, launching its e-Inclusion initiative in 2008 which aims to halve digital illiteracy by 2010 by promoting better use of e-learning.


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