EU launches digital skills and jobs coalition

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The European Commission launched the Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition on Thursday to help meet the high demand for digital skills in Europe which are essential in job market and society.

Members of the Coalition commit to tackling the skills gaps at all levels, from high-level Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) specialist skills to the skills needed by all European citizens to live, work and participate in a digital economy and society.

The Commission said in its press release that the coalition is both crucial for European industry to remain competitive in the face of rapid advances by its competitors, and for European society to remain inclusive in the digital age.

Digital skills involve a number of abilities citizens can rely on, ranging from finding information online and sharing online messages to creating digital content such as coding applications.

Europe is lacking digitally skilled persons to fill job vacancies in all sectors, missing out on up to 750,000 ICT professional jobs by 2020.

Yet unemployment among young people of 15 to 24 year olds is at almost 20 percent in the European Union. More than a third of the labour force and, more broadly, around 45 percent of European citizens have no more than basic digital skills.