EEP Group

Kelly calls on next Education Commissioner to focus on ICT skills

Published: Wed, 01 October 2014

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“The European Commission estimates that by 2015, there will be as many as 900,000 ICT vacancies in Europe. ICT or computer and digital skills-based jobs are being created by a growing sector – but Europe’s workforce clearly does not have the correct skills to match those jobs. We need to address that skills shortage,” Sean Kelly MEP said in Brussels today.

Mr Kelly will question the next Commissioner for Education at a hearing this evening (Wednesday), on his commitment to improving ICT skills among young Europeans so they are qualified to meet existing and future labour market demands.

Hungary’s Tibor Navracsis will appear before MEPs as the Commissioner-designate for Education, Culture, Youth and Citizenship. MEPs will assess his performance at today’s hearing before voting on the new Commission as a whole on October 22nd.

“Clearly we need to increase participation rates in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) career pathways. Having a qualified European workforce is crucial for the future prosperity of the EU.  We also need to increase the opportunities for young people to work in ICT, through the mainstreaming of coding and related ICT skills in the formal and non-formal education sectors,” said Mr Kelly, the Leader of the Fine Gael delegation in the European Parliament.

“While these priorities must be addressed by national authorities, I will question Mr Navracsis on his commitment to this goal and what he will do to support Member States in that regard.”

Mr Kelly will also ask Mr Navracsis if he will support innovative initiatives such as Coder Dojo through Erasmus+ funding. Coder Dojo provides an informal, fun setting for children and young people to learn how to write computer code.

The South MEP will host an EU Coder Dojo event in the European Parliament on October 14th, featuring Coder Dojo co-founder Bill Liao and Global CEO Mary Maloney, to highlight the importance of encouraging our youngest citizens to pursue interests in computer programming.

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