After the crisis, the e-skills gap is looming in Europe

December 4th, 2009
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Bonn, Milan, Brussels, 3 December 2009 - empirica and IDC EMEA Government Insights anticipate that the EU labour market may face an excess demand of 384,000 ICT practitioners[1] by 2015. The number of ICT professionals in Europe was 4.7 million in 2007 and is forecast to be between 4.95 and 5.26 million in 2015 depending on five foresight scenarios. Accordingly the e-skills gap, or unfilled vacancies, will amount to between 1.7% and 13% of the existing occupations by 2015. Empirica and IDC EMEA Government Insights have developed five foresight scenarios for Europe including a “back to normal” scenario, which describes how the labour market for ICT practitioners will evolve if we get back onto the previous, pre-crisis trajectories in terms of growth rates, the number of computer science students and graduates and the role of ICT-based innovation as a driving factor of European economic development. Contrasting with this scenario, they analysed four alternative paths varying the main factors that influence the demand and supply for e-skills: GDP growth, the pace of the economic recovery, the ICT innovation rate, ICT policies and the attractiveness of ICT jobs and careers in general. The variations in these factors were inputs to a predictive model they have developed and which is based in particular on historically observable elasticities and dependencies. The report was commissioned by the European Commission, DG Enterprise and Industry.

Predicting the future is always and naturally speculative to some extent but especially difficult in times like these, when there is so little agreement about when the economic rebound will finally stabilise. Especially the economic development until 2015 is the unknown factor that will have a major effect on how demand for IT professionals will develop” says Werner B. Korte of empirica. “This is why we have chosen to cover a rather broad scope of likely futures, if at the expense of a more scattered set of prognoses. Nevertheless, what our five scenarios have in common is that there will be an excess demand for ICT practitioners again by 2013 and by 2015 it will reach a non-negligible quantity – and even in a very severe fashion in case we see an economic recovery gaining momentum already from 2011 on.”

The main findings of the report provide confirmation of the relevance of the key components of the EU long term e-skills agenda presented by the European Commission in September 2007 in its Communication on “e-Skills for the 21st Century: Fostering Competitiveness, Growth and Jobs” and referring to the need of a longer-term cooperation, multi-stakeholder partnerships, increased human capital investment (private and public), appropriate financial and fiscal incentives, development of a European e-Competences Framework and tools at EU level for mobility and transparency, improving the attractiveness of ICT-related professions and education (e.g. promoting science, maths and ICT education) and promoting lifelong learning  (regular e-skills updating) as well as innovative e-learning and training approaches.

One major recommendation the report has to offer to policy makers and stakeholders is to act more swiftly and decisively. Says Tobias Hüsing of empirica: “Although we see in this crisis that firms are eager to retain their ICT skilled staff as long as possible, we should note that there is significantly more potential short term volatility on the demand side than on the supply side of the labour market. There is natural inertia on the supply side stemming from the educational system and the time it takes for instance to earn a degree in computer science – while lay-offs are linked in a much shorter term to economic developments. So any effort that policy spends to enhance the attractiveness of ICT careers has to bear in mind the enormous lead time and policy must prepare for the post-crisis sooner rather than later.”

The global foresight scenarios that the study presents are:

Back to normal – a return to “before the crisis” moderate growth development model, with ICT-based innovation developing unevenly across Europe. This results in a limited e-skills gap (estimated at 384,000 excess demand in 2015, about 8% of the ICT workforce);

Investing in the future – a scenario of moderate growth similar to the previous one until 2011, when, thanks to decisions to step up investments in ICT innovation and the future Internet, there is an acceleration of economic and ICT growth, expected to increase after 2015. This leads to higher demand for R&D and ICT skills in the period 2012-2015, with an estimated e-skills gap of 580,000 jobs in 2015, about 11% of the ICT workforce.

Turbo knowledge economy – the knowledge economy takes off in Europe, thanks to a virtuous circle of productivity and economic growth driven by widespread diffusion of ICT-based innovation. ICT careers become more attractive and demand of e-skills grows, leading to an e-skills gap of approximately 669,000 jobs in 2015, about 13% of the ICT workforce, even if the attractiveness of ICT jobs increases, leading to a slight increase of e-skills supply.

Tradition wins – after the crisis, an export-driven recovery advantages traditional industries, rather than high-tech and innovative industries, resulting in a combination of moderate economic growth with low ICT growth. The relocation of the ICT industry outside of Europe accelerates and the demand of e-skills from 2010 to 2015 grows very slowly while the attractiveness of ICT careers declines. A small level of excess demand of e-skills remains, but at the same time there are mismatches between demand and supply across the EU, particularly in the countries where the advanced high intensity IT users remain an important presence.

Stagnation – a very slow recovery, accompanied by domestic protectionism in the most important countries, discourages innovation investments. The European socioeconomic system struggles to keep up with the emerging economies and tends to close itself (“fortress Europe”), with low ICT investments counterbalanced by IT off-shoring growth. Both demand and supply of e-skills are flat, without growth, and the result is a very small e-skills gap accompanied by mismatches in the e-skills labour market across Europe.

The full study report is available at: http://www.eskills-monitor.eu (website) http://www.eskills-monitor.eu/foresight-2/

Chart: e-skills Demand and Supply Gaps (excess demand) in the EU27 until 2015

Chart: e-skills Demand and Supply Gaps (excess demand) in the EU27 until 2015

Source: empirica and IDC, e-Skills Monitor 2009

The report was commissioned by

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Disclaimer:

This is a press release of the e-Skills Monitor study team (empirica and IDC EMEA Government Insights). Neither the European Commission nor any person acting on behalf of the Commission is responsible for the use which might be made of the information in this press release. The views expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Commission. Nothing in this press release implies or expresses a warranty of any kind.


[1] ICT practitioners are defined according to standard classifications used by Eurostat and National Statistical Offices.


4 Responses to “After the crisis, the e-skills gap is looming in Europe”

  1. @ Eric Farnelle

    I didn’t understand that very well either. But I think “e-skills” reffers to online/internet skills.

  2. Very interesting post, however a link to a exact definition of ‘e-skills’ would help me understand this post a bit more.

  3. very insightful research. i believe that as the economy continues to remain sluggish, the problem will continue.

  4. I admit, I have not been on this webpage in a long time… however it was another joy to see It is such an important topic and ignored by so many, even professionals. I thank you to help making people more aware of possible issues.Great stuff as usual

How can we estimate the dynamics of the supply of e-skills in Europe?

May 7th, 2009
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What is your opinion? What are your suggestions? Please add your comment!

The following model captures in a dynamic view the supply of e-Skills in Europe. While a major challenge is dealing with the imponderables of quantifying the inflow of Computer Science and other subject graduates to the labour market, the question that we deal with today is also important for the dynamics in the IT labour market: how do we estimate and calculate the supply potential coming from unemployed IT professionals and other “inflows” such as career changers who turn to IT, re-entrants who return to work, immigration of IT professionals, etc.,  and also “outflows” such as retirees, temporary leaves or exits from work, or possibly even emigration of IT professionals?

In a world with perfect statistics, we would think that this be a proper dynamic measurement model:

Source: e-Skills Monitor. Supply side inflows and outflows of e-skills

Source: e-Skills Monitor.

In the middle of the picture we have the supply of e-Skills to the labour market, consisting of IT professionals (whether statistically filed under ISCO 213/312 or others) and unemployed IT professionals looking for a job. In the dynamic perspective, people enter and leave the job market for IT skills, which is depicted by the arrows on the left and on the right side of the picture. We also have certification and re-skilling activities which may apply to incumbents as well as entrants, however, and hence must not be added as inflows of their own.

However, as we will see subsequently, data about many of the inflows and outflows is not kept track of, and hence statistics are not available.

Inflows: Supply potential coming from unemployed IT professionals

According to the most recent data sources available with data from 2008 in Germany, France and the United Kingdom it becomes apparent that the rate of unemployed IT professionals is around 4%. This varies between 2.6% (in the UK, but 3.6% in the IT industry), 3.8% in Germany and 5.2% in France.

We believe that the situation will be rather similar in the other European countries.

It will be difficult to assume what share of unemployed IT professionals will immediately find new jobs in an ICT profession especially against the background of the continuous shifts in demand for IT professionals in industry towards new and very specific skills and qualifications different to those many of the unemployed IT professionals might come up with.

Only for The Netherlands we could identify an indication on how many of the unemployed IT professionals are estimated to find a job in ICT. The ICT~Office has based their calculations on the (as they call it themselves) very optimistic assumption that 70 percent of the job seekers will find a job in ICT over the next years (Pegge, Bart: ICT labour market in perspective. In: Centraal Bureau vor de Statistiek: De digitale Economie 2008).

For Germany, we find the information that the number of newly unemployed and re-employed IT professionals have been very similar over the last five years. The number of re-employed has been only slightly above newly unemployed, resulting in a decline in the absolute number of unemployed.

For instance in December 2008 in Germany: 21.9% of all unemployed IT professionals and 24.8% of computer scientists re-entered the workforce (link). We have no data on the average duration of unemployment, but if one fifith to one fourth of unemployed IT professionals re-enters the labour market each month, the “turnover” appears to be rather high and an average duration of unemployment can be estimated between two to five months. However, we do not know what share remains unemployed for a longer time or turns to other occupations outside IT.

Since there are nearly as many newly unemployed IT professionals becoming unemployed, the net re-entrance rate is only 0.83% and 1.9% respectively. This would mean that in normal times and on aggregate level we may disregard exits to and entries from unemployment. Except that these are not normal times.

Whether this implies that the observed unemployment is frictional rather than mismatch unemployment and whether the 70% re-entry rate might be too high remains difficult to assess.

Without reliable data from other countries and sources one can only guess about the present situation in other countries and in Europe in general.

When estimating the e-Skills supply potential coming from the unemployed IT professionals we plan – unless more reliable data can be made available – to use the above (average) 4% unemployment figure and will base the calculation on the assumption that only 20% these will re-enter the labour market as an IT professional in a one-year period.

We would highly appreciate further information on the current situation on the above issues from other European countries and kindly ask the experts whether they can provide us with similar information for their own and other European countries.

Inflows: Supply potential coming from other than ‘Computer Science’ graduates

Similar to the number of IT professionals which are not originating from the occupational groups 213 or 312 (Computer professionals and Computer associate professionals) also not only graduates from ‘Computer Science’ are those with IT specialist skills. Several of the graduates from other disciplines like for instance “mathematics, engineering, manufacturing, construction” also come up with these skills or enter the labour market to be trained on IT jobs and should also be counted as IT professionals. But how many of the graduates will fall under this category?

A major problem will probably be that this share of supply varies considerably with the demand. In times of high demand, more physicists, engineers and philosophers will turn to (or be drawn to) IT, while in times of demand slump the willingness to hire “outsiders” might plummet.

How can one reliably estimate and calculate the number of graduates with IT specialist skills from disciplines other than ‘Computer Science’?
Have any of the experts reading this posting made some experiences in estimating and calculating such graduates with IT specialist skills not classified as ‘Computer Scientists’?

Inflows: Supply potential coming from career changers, re-entrants, immigration of IT professionals

Data on career changers to ICT professional jobs, re-entrants of ICT professionals after the end of the family phase, or by those having attended further education and training courses to bring them back into the labour market or for other reasons but also data on the number of IT professionals immigrating from other countries could not be identified.

For the time being we will neglect the supply potential coming from career changers, re-entrants and immigration of IT Professionals in our calculation of IT professional supply figures assuming that they will be negligible in number.
The experts are kindly asked to comment on this.

Outflows: retiring IT professionals, career changers, temporary exits and emigration of IT professionals

The actual number of IT professionals retiring, changing their career to a non-ICT job, temporarily leaving the labour market for different reasons or those emigrating can be seen as a groups of individuals leaving the labour market and therefore need to be subtracted from the IT professional supply figures. Whether or not these groups constitute relevant or substantial groups of supply side exits very much depends on their absolute number or relative share.
Data on these supply side exits is hardly available. So far only the replacement rate of IT professionals and career changers per year in The Netherlands could be identified. In 2007 it was calculated by Researchcentrum voor Onderwijs en Arbeidsmarkt (ROA) to be at 2.3% of the professional ICT population (quoted in: Pegge, Bart: ICT labour market in perspective. In: Centraal Bureau vor de Statistiek: De digitale Economie 2008; English translation, p. 191). It remains an open question, whether this figure will be at comparable levels in other European countries or differ widely and in which direction.

No data could be identified on temporary exits and the emigration of IT professionals.

For the time being we will neglect the outflow coming from retired IT professionals, career changers, temporary exits and emigration of IT professionals assuming that these will be negligible in number.
The experts are kindly asked to comment on this.


One Response to “How can we estimate the dynamics of the supply of e-skills in Europe?”

  1. Alexa Joyce says:

    Recent research we have carried out on young women in secondary education suggests there is also an outflow following computer science graduation, particularly among young women. They are positive about IT as a topic/skill, but gender bias is putting them off taking up IT careers – this is particularly acute in the UK although the number of young women ready to take up computer science degrees is higher there than in some other EU countries. We’ll have a white paper out on this topic rather shortly.

The Demand for e-Skills in Europe: Estimating the Absolute Number of Unfilled Vacancies for IT Professionals in Europe – a First Attempt

April 29th, 2009
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The unfilled demand for e-skills manifests in hard-to-fill vacancies on the side of employers. Generally and according to the Eurostat enterprise survey of 2007 among private sector enterprises of 10 and more employees, 17.6 percent of the European enterprises employ ICT specialists and 7.2 recruited or tried to recruit IT specialists. Based on the same source 47% of enterprises which (try to) recruit personnel with ICT specialist skills had hard to fill vacancies in this area.

Enterprises (10+ empl.) with hard-to-fill vacancies for jobs requiring ICT specialist skills, during 2006, EU27
% of all % of recruiting
Total 3.4 47.1
10-49 employees 2.5 48.7
50-249 employees 5.7 42.0
250+ employees 18.0 50.0
Manufacturing 2.2 41.1
Construction 1.0 42.7
Services 4.7 49.3
Selected service industries
Trade 2.7 45.1
Financial sector 11.2 45.0
Post and telecommunications 13.2 50.9
Business services w/o computer activities 5.6 49.3
Computer and related activities 31.2 56.4

Source: Eurostat data base retrieval 04/2009

However, this data shows the number of companies but does not allow to calculate the actual number of hard to fill vacancies, i.e. open IT positions in European companies.

In order to estimate the actual number, we have made use of data on the median number of IT positions at organisations and of IT positions being actively recruited by companies in the countries surveyed from the CompTIA White Paper on “Skills Gaps in the World’s IT Workforce” published in February 2008. The data comes from a survey of 3,578 “IT Managers” in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, Poland, Russia, South Africa, United Kingdom, and the USA.

According to their (non-representative) survey, half of the companies have open positions, and the median number of IT positions (filled and unfilled) in these organisations was 20, of which the median of open IT positions was 5 (ergo: 15 filled), of which 4 positions were being actively recruited.

The other half of the respondents reports no open positions. We might expect that in this half of employers there is even some oversupply, we might assume 5% (i.e. one redundancy in 20 jobs).

That means, at this point in time, 4 unfilled vacancies existed for every 15 employed IT professionals in one half of the enterprises, while the other half had one redundancy in 20 employed IT professionals.

Now the aggregate demand would amount to 19/15=127% of employed IT professionals in one half, and 95% in the other half. Together (average of 95% and 127%= 110.8) this would result in a 10.8% excess demand.

If one calculates with the 3.78 million IT-workers according to the LFS, the excess demand at this point in time would have amounted to 408,000 unfilled vacancies, totalling the aggregate demand at 4.18 million jobs. However, this figure appears to be extremely high.

It has to be said that this survey took place in late 2007, i.e. before the crisis. Also, the survey was mainly among very large corporations (44% of the respondents are enterprises with 1000+ employees). Is it reasonable to assume that the ratio of open vacancies to existing IT staff is similar in smaller enterprises? Unfortunately, the study does not tell us about this relationship.

For estimating the 2009 numbers and to come up with a figure for Europe for a ‘crisis’ situation / scenario we have multiplied the 2007 demand for IT professionals in Europe with 10%. Using this calculation the actual demand for IT professionals in Europe is estimated to be 40,800.

Still, this figure appears rather high, comparing to what CEPIS had in their most optimistic scenario, namely an over-demand of 70,000. However, CEPIS used a completely different methodology in that they apparently did not account for any excess demand in their baseline, but only in the (then) future developments based on the scenarios.

The above are the only sources we managed to identify and which are providing at least some data which – with all its insufficiencies – we have used in our first attempt for estimating the absolute number of hard to fill vacancies of IT professionals in Europe. We would like to discuss the above data sources, calculation procedure and estimate with experts who may also know of other and better data sources and methodological procedures.


Please post your comments. Where possible, please provide sources, empirical evidence and data supporting your opinion and arguments.


6 Responses to “The Demand for e-Skills in Europe: Estimating the Absolute Number of Unfilled Vacancies for IT Professionals in Europe – a First Attempt”

  1. You have certainly broken this down well for us and given us a lot of information of e-Skills in the Netherlands. Really insightful and useful info here, which we thank you for sharing.

  2. irishpoetry says:

    I was very encouraged to find this site. I wanted to thank you for this special read on this looming gap in eskills in Europe. I definitely savored every little bit of this including all the comments and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post.

  3. John Higgins says:

    It would be nice to observe the measures taken from national governments and international organisations such as the EU in order to address this presently hot issue.

  4. Bart Pegge says:

    In the Netherlands, the focus on eSkills is indeed on the broader definition. As in Europe, the definition of eSkills is unhelpful in this discussion (as eSkills in that definition define both the basic home-users as the principal software engineers). When discussing the eSkills-gap we need to focus on the ICT-professionals that can consult on ICT solutions, build, implement and maintain them. There is an unquestionable scarcity in this (so-called ‘narrow’) definition. The chosen method of research seems to be the best method for the research question.

    Within the discussion on eSkills, the ICT-professionals should not be compared to those professionals using ICT. A vast majority uses ICT professionally in the Netherlands now-a-days. But using ICT does not imply being able to solve business, economical and societal problems/challenges with ICT.

    The gap that Empirica finds is not explained by looking at a too narrow group of ICT-professionals (as the previous response mentions), but due to the existing lack of professionals with the necessary, specialist, ICT skills. It seems to me that this research looks at the demand and supply of ICT-professionals (being eSkills in narrow definition). A new research (question) would be started when discussing the demand and supply of ICT-skilled people in general. Then, the broader definition would be more suitable.

    Looking to the education of ICT-professionals, it is indeed visible that the core Informatics studies see a decline of students (at least until the academic year 2008/2009). For the bachelor ICT-studies, the overall decline is 9 percent at universities for applied science and 14 percent at research universities. The ‘newer’ studies, such as game design and communication & multimedia design, are more popular and still see an increase in new students. Unfortunately, these increases do not compensate the losses of students in the more traditional ICT-education programmes. With the exception of the communication studies, the participation of women in ICT-studies is very low in the Netherlands (3 to 8 percent). These statistics have been published in the ICT~Marktmonitor 2009 of ICT~Office and were calculated from data received from the Dutch institution for higher education IB-Groep.

  5. Additional info (Belgium) e-Skills Monitoring study European Commission

    In 2008 the Belgian federal government approved the relaxation of an economical migration system for hard-to-fill vacancies of ICT profiles in many sectors. At this moment a lot of Indian IT experts are active in ICT vocations, but this is only a small part of the total number of unfilled vacancies for IT –professions.

    Source http://www.smartbusiness.be

    Thanks to an ambitious high-tech policy, Brussels can be become the digital capital of Europe. Following the example of Ireland, the Multisector Federation For The Technology Industry. (Agoria) launced in 2008 its Iris (h) plan for ICT professions. This project would provide 2% extra Gross Domestic Product growth and 10,000 additional jobs over a period of 10 years.

    Source http://www.bncto.be/

    According to Agoria sustainable innovative sectors should be developed to create jobs. Their growth will create new activities in other sectors of the economy (trade, real estate, maintenance, etc.). It is better for the quality of the labour market to increase the level of the unemployed especially for the short skilled on the labour market (via ICT training) than to reduce the level of the labour market itself.

    Key figures of Flemish External Autonomous Agency of Public Law for Employment and Vocational Training and Guidance (VDAB) and the Flemish Minister of Employment Frank Vandenbroucke show that one out of five jobs in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector within the year have not been filled in. VDAB has received 9,129 vacancies for ICT jobs during the period May 2007 to April 2008. For 7,394 ICT professions or (81%) a suitable candidate has been found. At the end of April 2008 there were 1,850 vacancies in the ICT sector. Especially developers, network administrators, helpdesk staff and computer technicians were and are still hard to find.
    In collaboration with Agoria, VDAB started a pilot project to verify whether job seekers who register for ICT jobs, are really benefiting from these ICT jobs. At the end of 2007 only 962 (29%) of 3,295 job seekers who were enrolled in an ICT profession, retained also a ICT profession after screening. 1206 of the job seekers were working and 608 of the job seekers were no longer available for work or for the labour market. A targeted approach is therefore necessary.

    Sources http://www.vdab.be
    http://arvastat.vdab.be/
    http://www.vlaanderen.be/
    The list of hard-to-fill vacancies for the Brussels capital region and for the Walloon region are showing practically the same outcomes and developments as in Flanders. Therefore the Job Focus action has been launched in the Walloon region to discover hard to fill in vacancies in the ICT sector amongst other sectors : “L’action “Job Focus” en Région wallonne pour découvrir les métiers en pénurie”. A summary of hard to fill in vacancies could be consulted on the following web sites.

    Sources http://www.leforem.be/
    http://www.actiris.be/Observatoire/pdf/Lijst_knelpuntberoepen_in_2007.pdf
    http://www.foyer.be/
    http://www.fvbffc.be/

  6. admin says:

    Some crosscutting comments on behalf of a group of Dutch experts

    Hereby, we send you our comments on the e-Skills Monitoring Study that Emprica is conducting. We have distributed your email and information to several experts, among which Statistics Netherlands, and have collected their comments.

    Regarding e-Skills in the Netherlands, statistics Netherlands monitors e-skills in the Netherlands on a more than yearly basis. Its publications show that (see ‘The Digital Economy’ 2008, CBS):
    - e-Skills in the Netherlands are just above average compared to other EU countries;
    - the percentage of IT-graduates is just above average compared to other EU countries (was slightly below EU-average in 2005);
    - the percentage of employed ICT professionals (both narrow and broad definition) is just above average compared to other EU countries (3.9 percent, which places the Netherlands in fourth position from the European perspectives);
    - in the Netherlands, the number of vacancies in the ICT sector was stable in 2007, while the number of vacancies grew steadily in the rest of the economy.

    Regarding the question whether or not Europe is facing an e-Skills gap, we find it interesting that the data of the Empirica study shows that the IT sector is experiencing an e-Skills gap and that it has problems finding ICT personnel. This could possibly be explained by the fact that the Empirica study focuses on personnel with ICT specialist skills, and thereby uses a narrow definition for ICT professionals.

    There are various definitions for ICT professionals agreed in different international panels. The narrow definition of ICT professionals is that of specialists developing, operating and maintaining ICT systems. ICT is the core of their work. The wider definition of ICT professionals includes advanced and basis users of ICT and software tools.

    An e-Skills gap might be looming regarding personnel with ICT specialist skills (narrow definition). It is simply more difficult to find ICT personnel with specialised skills. Moreover, in the Netherlands, the share of college and university graduates in ICT disciplines has decreased (see table 7.3.1 ‘The Digital Economy’ 2008). However, there is a noticeable steady increase in the number of information scientists graduating in the discipline communication systems (see ‘The Digital Economy’ 2008). There might be an undersupply of the “I” in ICT professionals, but not of the “C”. When the broader definition of ICT professionals is used, an increase of e-Skills supply can be found both for the Netherlands as for the European Union (as shown by European statistics on e-Skills).

    Thus, there might be a serious and increasing undersupply of ICT practitioners with specialised skills. They are scarce now, and will remain scarce. However, we find that there is no undersupply of ICT skilled professionals when the wider definition is used and advanced and basis users of ICT and software tools are included.

    It seems that different data and a different methodology are used. The European (IT) industry representatives might be focussing on the narrow definition, while many countries and Eurostat monitor the general level of e-Skills of the population. An extra complexity might be that classifying education programmes is very complex as multiple ICT disciplines can be distinguished with new disciplines being regularly added, and names of disciplines being changed. It might also differ between countries so that data may be distorted to some degree.

    The Netherlands has chosen for a general programme on e-Skills, and not for a programme to stimulate the percentage of ICT personnel with specialised skills. Overall, e-Skills in the Netherlands are relatively high. However, research shows particular groups lack these skills, and that e-Skills contribute both to individual wellbeing (social inclusion, higher wages, consumer advantages etc.), as to economic growth. e-Skills are essential to participate fully in our information society. In making sure that everyone has at least basic e-Skills, a major improvement for the information society can be made. Presently, a five-year e-Skills action programme has just started in 2009.

    If you would like more information on e-Skills in the Netherlands in relation to the economy please see the ‘The Digital Economy’ 2007 and 2008, in particular the paragraphs 2.3, 7.3 and 7.4. http://www.cbs.nl/NR/rdonlyres/6B7FB67D-9213-4BB0-B9E6-4B32A3EAC6EA/0/2008p38pub.pdf

eSkills shortages and statistics caveats – a first wrap-up of reactions

March 12th, 2009
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We have received quite some response to our last post, some of it visible in the comments, and some via e-mail not meant to be published**. Thanks to all who have shared their views so far!

We used the base “all enterprises” for the recruitment data – where “recruiting enterprises” might have been seen as the natural denominator, and we assumed a close link between the number of graduates in science/maths/computing and ICT workforce – where one has to admit that we don’t know where exactly the ICT specialists in the workforce come from in terms of education. Of course, in a research report this would have at least required a caveat in the footnote.

However, if at the risk of being accused of “nonsense“, it was our aim to get the discussion started.

In bullets, these are some of the issues that readers have pointed us to:

  • Re the hard-to-fill vacancies statistics:  Change the percentage base and 47% of the enterprises that sought to hire ICT professionals had trouble finding suitable candidates. This is maybe the opposite of  the claim that there were no severe skills shortages.
  • Skills shortages come to a large degree from the pace of change of technology in the industry.  “There can easily in a fast evolving industry of fluid standards be severe shortages of particular specialists”.
  • The figures used in the quote reflect only one of six scenarios of the CEPIS study “E-Skills in Europe: Matching Supply to Demand”. The scenario “dark days”, which appears much more likely given the economic crisis of today, claims a much lower demand and appears to be a realistic assessment of the current situation.
  • Look at school education in CS, also at the allocation of public budgets for IT education in school and tertiary education.
  • Societal factors such as the reputation and the competences of IT vocations
  • Don’t look only at graduates from science/math/computing, but IT is becoming a significant part of other studies as well, e.g. in medicine.
  • This is also reflected in shortages in the labour market where “linkers” are needed – people who combine expertise in IT with a background in law, medicine, accounting, etc.

The upcoming posts therefore will discuss how to interpret the data used: the demand side data (e.g. the hard-to-fill vacancies), the supply side data (graduates), and the status quo data (ISCO data on IT practitioners). And of course all the data that we haven’t got yet but which may or may not be available somewhere. We hope to keep getting the readers’ views on these topics!

More on this soon.

** Given that many of our readers would be seen to respond as representatives of their companies or organisations – which would require an official endorsement process not too helpful if one wants receive frank (and quick) answers, communication by e-mail is possibly the best way to keep a discussion running. We would like to encourage readers to keep sending us e-mails if commenting publicly is not feasible.


11 Responses to “eSkills shortages and statistics caveats – a first wrap-up of reactions”

  1. What would be better to get first MCSE or A+ Certification

  2. As EXIN is working on a global basis we see that some differences in the world are to be seen, however the big picture is the same.
    As we speak about the European situation I agree with CompTIA’s view that we need more e-skills instead of more persons. The gap that we see is more specific on:
    -security
    -relation between the business and the IT
    -It Service Management, or structuring of IT processes in general

    For e-skills on a basic level (let’s say ECDL-level) we see that in certain countries too many persons have lack of basic skills, more specific in those countries where education skills are significantly lower that the average.

  3. Francis BEHR says:

    I am speaking on behalf of nine NTAs (National Trade Associations) within Western Europe.
    We jointly responded to a request by Commissionner Viviane Reding about a future European Software Strategy.
    We all agreed that the skills issue was of paramount importance.
    This is reflected in the “position paper” posted at the following URL :
    http://www.syntec-informatique.fr/DesktopDefault.aspx?TabID=119&NewsID=397
    Please go to the website, then click on “Telecharger le position paper”.
    The first section of the paper is dedicated to the skills issue in Europe.

    Francis Behr

  4. admin says:

    On behalf of Eva Hagsten, Statistics Sweden

    First of all, I want to emphasise that this also refers to the industrial structure of the country. We may have fewer or more people with e-skills than other countries, but the importance is to reach a balance between supply and demand at whatever level that might be.

    Statistics Sweden recently published Population, education and labour market in Sweden – outlook to year 2030 (http://www.scb.se/statistik/_publikationer/UF0515_2006I30_BR_00_AM85BR0901.pdf). There you will find no real signs of an excess demand of e-skills in Sweden in the short, medium or long term. In fact rather the contrary, since many IT skills tend to be in excess supply. The only exception to this are the e-skills gained in the upper secondary school (now in shorter university educations), where a shortage is expected in the future.

    In the Eurostat ICT impact assessment project we studied the effects on labour productivity from IT skills of the firm employees (chapter 8). This relationship seemed to hold only for certain industries, while a general higher education led to clear positive effects on the total factor productivity. This could be interpreted as no general excess demand excists in Sweden right now. However, in the same report, but in chapter 14, positive effects were found on the total factor productivity in particular from an increase of the share of employees with access to broadband at work. So, my conclusion is that growth and productivity could be improved by increased access while the skills needed for this access mainly seem to be there already.

    In The Use of ICT in Swedish enterprises 2007 (http://www.scb.se/statistik/_publikationer/IT0101_2007A01_BR_IT02BR0701.pdf), 9 per cent of the firms reported that they had been in need of recruiting IT experts while only slightly half of these managed to find the right person. Although they gave as reason lacking competence, wrong education and too high wage claims, this could not be considered alarming since it refers to the production year of 2006 when the economic activity was very high and several industries were producing close to their full capacity and were having matching problems.

    Best regards,

    Eva Hagsten
    Economic analysis unit
    Statistics Sweden

  5. Paolo Schgor says:

    Unfortunately skills gap is still a matter of opinion.
    Standard definitions of e-Skills are not yet widespread. and therefore it’s impossible to have an accurate and scientific measurement process; as a consequence, it’s impossible to collect affordable data on required, available and missing skills.

    Said that, an e-skills gap certainly exists.
    Its overall effects can roughly be evaluated in an indirect way, i.e. by estimating what AICA calls the “cost of IT ignorance”.
    Various statistical researches conducted in Italy in the past 4 years prove that a considerable fraction of an employee’s working time is wasted due to lack of IT usage skills or due to system malfunctioning that could be avoided if the IT experts who develop and maintain the systems were more appriaprately skilled.
    More information is available (in Italian) on http://aicanet.net/attivita/progetti-e-ricerche/il-costo-dell-ignoranza-informatica

  6. I think that what is missing in this debate on e-skills is working conditions and salaries. If it’s true that unemployment (2.5% in the U.S according to TechAmerica) is relatively low for IT workers and salaries are relatively high that doesn’t mean that compared to other industries (especially finance), in which IT workers are required, conditions were better in IT.

    First, salaries are stagnating and are lower than in Finance, generally speaking. In addition, working hours are often longer than in other industries as well as the stress felt by employees. This can explain why many youngsters don’t choose that field of study. And if we add the fact that many are afraid of loosing their jobs due to delocalization (even though numbers say the contrary, I am talking about a widespread feeling not facts), it adds something to the argument. This is somehow a vicious circle: skills are needed, but since salaries don’t go up, the image of the sector deteriorates (also due to some gender and age discrimination issues) fewer people go in the field and thus the skills’ crisis worsens.

    In a time of crisis like this one, it would be crucial that IT companies train workers that are redundant today in order to have them ready and embedded with the skills that will be needed tomorrow (when the crisis will end).

    As for the statistics, I agree with Mr Kirkergaard and think they reflect reality if we change the basis. This is to say that a skill gap exists, in particular area but not in the whole industry (otherwise salaries would go up faster, unless the bargaining power of IT workers is too weak due to the low level of unionization in the sector).

    Finally I think the skills shortage is reflected also in the charts that show the situation in different countries. If you take Germany that produced 48 (000) IT graduates in 2006 and had 672 (000) IT professionals working in the labour market that year, we can easily think there’s a gap coming up, especially if you take into account that IT specialists usually retire early (or are made redundant). If one takes the total number of graduates in the 7 countries displayed in the chart in 1998, we get 212 which is lower than the 305 in 2006. But if we take the number of graduates in 2006 as a proportion of those working in the field that year, we find that the proportion (9. 2%) is smaller than in 1998 (12.7%), suggesting the skills crisis had worsened.

    This is also in line with the last Eurostat publication (http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/portal/page?_pageid=1996,39140985&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL&screen=detailref&language=en&product=REF_TB_labour_market&root=REF_TB_labour_market/t_labour/t_jvs/tps00172) on job vacancies (for the last quarter of 2008) which shows that 1.7% of jobs are vacant in the EU-27 (on average) while this number is usually higher for the job category where most IT workers are found (Information & Communication and Finance & Insurance Activities). If we take the countries we are interested in, we found that only Spain (0.5%) have fewer vacancies in these categories than in the rest of its economy (0.7%).

  7. admin says:

    On behalf of Jonathan Liebenau

    > I wrote a report, issued by the LSE and Microsoft, on this subject, in
    > which my opinions are clearly stated. I do not believe that the data
    > indicate what most people conclude because, as you point out, job
    > vacancies are not great, unemployment among ICT professionals is not
    > great (indeed both are around the level of expected friction in the
    > market), and, most significantly, pay levels show no evidence
    > of demand squeeze.
    >
    > I further point out in my report that the critical issue is that
    > management needs to be able to utilize ICT skills better, have higher
    > expectations from their e-skilled personnel, and pay them better than
    > non e-skilled personnel.
    > When that happens, more people will seek out e-skills,
    > acquire credentials that assist them on the job market, and
    > push for ever improved utilization of ICT in the workplace.
    >
    > Best wishes,
    > J. Liebenau

  8. On behalf of Matthew Poyiadgi (CompTIA) says:

    There is a difference between lack of people and lack of skills. Currently, there is no people shortage, but there is certainly a skills shortage in the IT sector. The organisations we partner with at CompTIA, mainly the large IT vendors and manufacturers, all express the need for it skills to allow them to constantly evolve and remain competitive. One good example is the manufacturers of printers and scanners, who now develop and build multi-function devices, and whose skills requirements have evolved from a hardware repair engineer to an individual who can connect these devices onto a company network seamlessly, thus becoming a software technician. The need constantly changes and as such is challenging to track.

    In almost all cases the organisations we work with are focused on identifying and retaining their talent pool and to position this asset to be in the best position for competitive advantage in the future.

    In addition, the challenge we face is more one of balancing the output (the people with the skills from academia) with the job roles that these major employers have to fill. We are seeing more inclusion of what is described as vendor qualifications from Microsoft, Cisco, Oracle and CompTIA, into accreditation programmes, national qualifications frameworks, and indeed in job profiles, because these are the skill sets that employers need for the job roles and the work they need accomplished, and these certifications have global resignation and track record. Companies recognise that individuals certified to these levels means they can make a contribution from day one in the workplace.

    The adoption of these qualifications across the EU is imperative, as it will help drive students into study, and into career paths, that are clearly understood and meet the demand of the HR manager waiting to fill a specific job role. Employers are often involved on panels and committees designed to establish the needs of organisations from national qualifications and statistics to show how may vacancies remain unfilled do exist (hosted by e-skills.com in the UK for example). The economic crisis will not change this – more people are unemployed of course, and we are seeing more people invest in their skills, but we must make sure that the skills being delivered – the output – is recognised by, and meets the needs of, the employers, their job roles and their business requirements. There is no question that the organisations who are investing in their people and who are visionary in hiring for tomorrow’s needs will be the ones who are best positioned for recovery.

  9. Terry Hook says:

    e-skills shortages are an emphatic reality. We can identify two categories of skills deficiency 1. Skills shortages where organisations have a numeric headcount shortfall and 2. Skills gaps where the existing workforce lacks skills currency and require ‘upskilling’. Around 22% of UK IT &Telecoms companies reported difficulties in attracting recruits with the right skills. Source ‘Technology Counts, IT & Telecoms Insights 2008′ from e-skills UK.

    There is a significant shortage of IT graduates in the UK, 142,000 new entrants into the profession are required annually and only around 27,000 come directly from from Higher Education. Around 71,000 new entrants annually are sourced from non IT occupations and require extensive training.
    Approximately 44,000 recruits annually come from sources such as returners to work after a career break or early retirees re-entering the workforce.

    Many skills shortages arise from the need for a balance of technical, personal and business skills, employers stress the shortage of this growing need for hybrid skills.

    A report based upon a survey of 3,000 employers across the UK found that the exising workforce exhibited skills gaps and of those reported 70% lacked required technical skills. 81% of companies with skills gaps stated that this had a direct effect on their business.

    The picture of business restructuring and skills shift is complex and easily misrepresented by basic data sources. Aggregating this data across Europe can lead to misinterpretation of reality.

  10. Giorgio De Michelis says:

    My first comment on this issue is that the picture is highly contradictory. Probably we are in the mid of a crisis with several contradictory features not allowing a simple interpretation. The situation has become in the last months more complicated for the financial crisis.
    Let me give some comments mainly based on the observation of the Italian situation (that is only partially representative of whole Europe).
    First, students in Computer Science University courses are decreasing and good students are decreasing to a greater extent. This implies that in the future we will have a smaller number of new qualified resources entering in the field. On the one hand, young professionals coming out from the University will have no difficulty in finding a work, but, on the other hand, the e-skills-gap will grow.
    Second, it will grow the number of deskilled people going to cover CS-related places, contributing to a dequalification of the sector. The empoverishment of what informatics professionals are requested to do and can do is not due to this factor only, but several different factors seem contribute to it: besides the reduction of the student base, in fact, there are also the progressive commodification of ICT services offered to companies and public institutions; the decreasing number of companies and public administrations requesting for innovative services; the growing distance between research and user industry in the ICT sector, etc.
    Third, the prices user organizations are willing to pay for ICT services are decreasing (also because they have discovered that what they get are commodities and they are no more willing to pay professional costs for them) so that the companies in the ICT sector are reacting to it hiring less expensive (and less qualified) people.
    Fourth, professionals, whose age is over forty years, are under the menace to loose their work position.
    Fifth, the decreasing quality of the services offered to the European companies and public administrations is going to affect them putting them in a weak position in the market.

    In conclusion, It seems to me, that in order to understand what is happening, we need to base our evaluation of the labor market in the ICT sector, on a critical evaluation of the European market in the ICT sector. At the origin of the current crisis, in fact, there is the decreasing quality of the services offered in this market. Only within an industrial policy recognizing this crisis and trying to go beyond it, we can design strategies for facing the problems of the ICT professions.

  11. Agoria the multisector federation for the technology industry
    ( see http://www.idoceo.be/jobprofiles/2007/ in Belgium investigated market profiles of ICT practitioners’ skills as a Research & Development based model and an academic model able to satisfy the demand and offers in light of Bologna process to reach a unified recognition of certifications. The “ACM” model for ICT (access to ICT, competence, motivation) in Belgium does not only look at the practitioners’ background in ICT.

    The purpose of a project called ODLAC (open and distance learning access)-project in Flanders is to discover to which extent language learners, teachers/trainers/counsellors and representatives of secondary schools, universities, adult education institutions are already being trained as e-learning users and to see if the school system provides a framework for the use of ICT in language teaching. It is important to know whether, why and how language programmes already use e-learning or blended learning. In this way the guides for institutions, trainers and learners can focus on currently existing needs and they can neglect areas in which the target groups already have enough expertise.
    ICT – professions/ practitioners are still considered as in demand professions in Belgium.

Is Europe facing an e-Skills gap?

March 5th, 2009
See 8 Comments or add more »

Expert Survey on Monitoring e-Skills Demand and Supply in Europe: Is Europe facing an e-Skills gap – Yes or No?

Is it only a myth that Europe lacks the IT skills needed? Or why do so few enterprises actually report having trouble to find the right people? Do we trust statistics that show Germany has only little more than half the number of Science/Maths/Computing graduates than the United Kingdom, and only two thirds of the figure in France? That Poland has 250 *annual* graduates in this field per 1000 IT specialists in the workforce – while the Netherlands produce only 32 per 1000? And what will the effect of the economic crisis be on the demand and the supply of IT skills?

What is your opinion? Please add your comment!
Where possible, please provide empirical evidence and data supporting your opinion and arguments

In the most recent Issue Paper on “Recognizing Value Credentials” of 27 February 2009 the IT industry working group 6 on “Skills and Lifelong Learning” has clearly stated that Europe is facing an “e-Skills gap”, i.e. a serious and increasing undersupply of ICT practitioners in the market which is increasingly not reaching the demand levels in industry and among businesses. By way of quoting Michael Gorriz, euroCIO President with a statement from 29 January 2009 they state that

“companies both on the information technology supply and user side have an increasing need for ICT skilled professionals.

Figures from 2008 indicated the demand to reach 250,000 by 2010. Only 180,000 are likely to be available. The economic downturn will probably release the situation. However, the long-term trend of a shortfall poses a threat to job opportunities and Europe’s competitiveness in the globalised world.

Therefore, it is critical for the success of European industries to re-skill Europe’s workforce for the needs of the knowledge-based economy. Industry-based qualifications and certifications are key factors in keeping European industries competitive. This fact needs to be recognized.”

However, most recent official European statistics on e-Skills – providing data up until the years 2006 and 2007 – show a steady increase of e-Skills supply (ICT practitioners in the workforce and students graduating from university in related subjects) over the past years and not a massive drop off and decrease of student enrolments and graduations from university and IT practitioners in the workforce in this area.

Recent European e-Skills demand figures from the survey in 2007 also show that only less than 4 percent of European companies had hard-to-fill vacancies for jobs requiring ICT specialist skills, and only 7.2% tried to recruit personnel with ICT specialist skills.

table_recruit_001(click on picture to enlarge)

Source: Eurostat 2007

Given the public attention that employers’ claims about the e-skills gap have gained recently, one might have expected a higher share of enterprises that state difficulties in this regard. However, this figure does not give any information about how many positions had to remain unoccupied since the number of “hard-to-fill vacancies” within the responding enterprise is not further specified, nor is it further differentiated whether these vacancies were eventually filled.

From these European statistical data one can not necessarily derive that Europe is suffering from or will be facing a very severe “e-Skills gap”.

ICT Practitioners in the European workforce (ISCO 213 and 312: Computer Professionals and Computer Associate Professionals) from 1995 – 2007

ICT Practitioners in the European workforce (ISCO 213 and 312: Computer Professionals and Computer Associate Professionals) from 1995 – 2007

(click on picture to enlarge)

Source: Eurostat: Labour Force Surveys

annualgradsmc_001

Graduation from tertiary education according to ISCED97 in science, mathematics and computing from 1998 - 2006

(click on picture to enlarge)

Source: Eurostat

What is your opinion? Is Europe facing an e-Skills gap or not? Please add your comment!

If you have any at hand, please provide empirical evidence and data supporting your opinion and arguments.


8 Responses to “Is Europe facing an e-Skills gap?”

  1. PROF. A. SRIMURUGAN says:

    There is smoke so there should be fire, though not visible to the naked
    eye. Forecasting or speculations are all scientific basis. People who produce reports are all accredited academics. So one cannot reject such
    speculations as baseless. Any branch of Social sciences belong to a positive nature of science and not normative. The laws and decisions always depend upon certain clauses, though it may not add phrases like
    ….provided or like …….other things being equal. Yet, there are clauses and phrases. A subject expert can read such phrases beyond or between the lines, as she/he has the capacity to understand the situation or environment. So, one can have good faith and believe, if not the statistics, the concept or the underlying principle.

  2. Great article, thanks for the share. Blog bookmarked :)

  3. Tamas Klotz says:

    All of the study I have seen is fairly outdated nowadays since economic downturn has overwright the trends. I have just experimental information via the Association’s mebers ( led by me ) from recent time, and relevant only for hungary. Before the crises we have had around 4800 shortage of ICT practicioners, based on headhunters and jobportals open search numbers (wo duplication), which had been grown since 2002 from 1300 at that time. The graduated students number in ICT has stagnated also last years, and since the market growths, the gap has increased, since forign (especially transilvanian) ICT knowladge employee who came, and other professionalist who had changed can not covered the missmatch.
    However it is important that the structure of ICT practitioners missing is havily different was from what the universities and othe training providers tried to cover. So, first step should have been ICT industry involvement in ICT education curricula strategies. (eg. low or middle level Windows deployment engineer was enough, but JAVA master or BEA professionals or even CRM knowladge was lack of on the market.
    Since crisis hit us also, this has been changed a bit. We estimates the gap around half of the original (~2000 person) but the structures of the mismatch has changed a bit in good direction since some of the companies has fired or erased some of well skilled employee who can cover the missing professional gaps partly.
    My (and most of our member companies professionals) feeling is that after the crises, the market will get an impulse and growth rate will be higher and the demand will increase rapidly, so the gap will increase also rapidly, since the education can not follow so fast. this can cause real problem in the industry.
    Other thing is that since ICT up to date knowladge is changing more freqvently than others, those who has been unemplyed during crises and can not practice their profession, got an unusable knowladge, and need more education that they can come back to ICT HR market competitivly.

    Tamas Klotz
    CEO-Secretary General
    Hungarian ICT Association

  4. [...] In the most recent Issue Paper on “Recognizing Value Credentials” of 27 February 2009 the IT industry working group 6 on “Skills and Lifelong Learning” has clearly stated that Europe is facing an “e-Skills gap“. [...]

  5. [...] Project Documents   « Is Europe facing an e-Skills gap? [...]

  6. I believe the “real ICT practitioners” bottlenecks will be found at much more specific and detailed levels, i.e. for instance certain types of network integration specialists, high-end SAP-platform programmers or 3-D graphics application designers. There can easily in a fast evolving industry of fluid standards be severe shortages of particular specialists, even as the broader “computer graduate category” is expanding.

    At the same time, it is clear that the current economic crisis will have an impact on both skills supply/demand quite possibly beyond the immediate business cycle. It is for instance unlikely that a large number of the most talented mathematically trained “quants” will continue to enter the financial sector to the degree we have seen it since the mid-1990s.

    I am maybe not entirely clear about what the table shows, but it seems to me that the discussion of the table data is possibly completely and utterly misguided.

    First of all, a population of “all enterprises with more than 10empl” is a very large one and it would seem to me that 7.2% of all EU companies (with more than 10empl) tried to recruit an IT specialist is quite a reasonable number – many companies like restaurants/construction companies etc. really will never need a full-time dedicated ICT practitioner. It’s simply not a part of their business and what they do. However, the table shows that 3.4% of all companies (which had an ICT specialist need and consequently tried to recruit one) had “hard-to-fill vacancies”. The way I read that table is that almost 50% (3.4%/7.2%) of EU companies with a need for an ICT specialist had trouble finding one. If this is indeed the correct interpretation of the table, then it is a very alarming finding and indeed corresponds COMPLETELY with widespread employer perceptions that ICT specialists are hard to find in Europe today.

    ….. OK, in fact, after a little search of the original Eurostat data at the Information Society Statistics Policy Indicators at http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/portal/page?_pageid=1996,45323734&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL&screen=welcomeref&close=/isoc/isoc_pi&language=en&product=EU_MASTER_information_society&root=EU_MASTER_information_society&scrollto=28, it turns out that indeed my interpretation of the data is correct.

    The “Percentage of enterprises who had hard-to-fill vacancies for jobs requiring ICT specialist skills, during 2006″ as a share of “Percentage of enterprises which recruited or tried to recruit personnel for jobs requiring ICT specialist skills” is on average 47% in the EU-27, rising to 66% in the Czech Republic and Lithuania, and dropping to “only” 31% in the UK.

    Correspondingly, in my opinion that the text discussion of the table data and indeed much of the content of this blog is simply nonsense!

    COMPLETELY contrary to the blog statement of “From these European statistical data one can not necessarily derive that Europe is suffering from or will be facing a very severe “e-Skills gap”, the e-skills shortage facing EU companies today (at least in 2006 data) is VERY real and Eurostat data – when truthfully presented at least – shows this quite clearly!

    J.F. Kirkegaard, Peterson Institute For International Economics

  7. Sophie Barbedette says:

    Good morning, if data extracted from “Annual graduations from science, math, computing” domains are not showing a gap in E-Skills, it would be interested to collect data from other domains than science where E-skills is also needed. The gap may be in other fields where ICT is also needed: ICT skills should be developped in other domain to be combined with other skills. For instance medical activities requested to use informatics to collect and analyze information for diagnostics, and there are many examples where the use of a computer is requested. Thank you. (Sophie Barbedette, ORACLE)

  8. admin says:

    The comment provides a reference to the top line figure of a surplus of 70000 ICT professionals by 2010 (i.e. the difference between the 250000 demanded and the supply of 180000 forecast) from the CEPIS Foresights study, as those who have read the study will clearly see. This surplus was only forecast in the case of a very favourable economic climate, together with a positive pace of ICT development and low offshoring. The scenario presented was labeled as ‘Renaissance’. The reader should always bear in mind that these figures were forecast based on a foresight scenario modeled on positive economic climates and paces of ICT innovations. The scenario which is most relevant to the current environment labeled ‘Dark days’ shows no shortage of practitioners. This foresight scenario, which proved to be quite accurate does not get any reference. It is imperative that all reports that quote figures should outline at a top level the assumptions on which they were based, and the overall context of the report from which they were derived
    (Julian Seymour, CEPIS)

Monitoring e-Skills Demand and Supply in Europe

February 13th, 2009
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This e-SkillsMonitor blog provides commentary and news on the study “Monitoring e-Skills Demand and Supply in Europe” (e-SkillsMonitor). The blog and web site is maintained by empirica and IDC and provides regular entries of commentary. Entries are displayed in reverse-chronological order.

Readers are encouraged to view existing comments, leave comments and make their own postings in an interactive format provided below after clicking on ‘Comment »’.

Expert involvement and expert survey – Expression of interest: please register

The objective of e-SkillsMonitor is to monitor and understand better the evolution of the supply and demand of e-skills in Europe in order to anticipate change and facilitate dialogue between policy makers at the regional, national and EU level and leading stakeholders to reduce e-skills shortages, gaps and mismatches. The study will provide a report on “The evolution of the supply and demand of e-skills in Europe” (focusing on ICT practitioners) and a foresight report: “Anticipating the evolution of the supply and demand of e-skills in Europe (2010-2015)”.

As part of this study and at different stages such as – data gathering analysis, scenarios, foresight – the study team will involve experts for evaluation and review purposes and carry out an online expert survey.

Those experts interested in participating in this activity are cordially invited to register by sending an e-mail to: meskills at empirica dot com or posting a comment. This will allow us to keep you updated about any news and allow you for commenting preliminary study results and achievements ahead of any official study publications.


One Response to “Monitoring e-Skills Demand and Supply in Europe”

  1. nothing wrong with an excess in demand for labor more jobs is always a great thing