By signing the Riga Declaration governments, industry, NGOs, academia and other key stakeholders from 22 European countries have joined forces with the European Commission to push for further action to stimulate the creation of the jobs needed to build a digital single market in Europe.
Simultaneously with the signing of the Riga Declaration the European Commission's (EC) communication campaign "e-Skills for Jobs in 2015" was launched.
The Riga Declaration consists of 10 principles which key players involved in the “e-Skills for Jobs” campaign are committed to:
- more and better investment in digital technologies and e-skills;
- address youth unemployment in Europe through digital skills;
- prioritise "e-Skills for the 21st Century" policy and scale-up its implementation;
- endorse the continuation of the work of the Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs and the implementation of National Coalitions, and public funding investment;
- promotion of e-leadership in management positions at the European businesses;
- foster digital transformation and entrepreneurship;
- ensure life-long education and training of e-skills;
- European leadership of global standards;
- fostering ICT professionalism and maturing the ICT profession in Europe;
- commitment to cooperate, pool expertise and efforts.
Marc Durando, Executive Director of European Schoolnet says, “European Schoolnet welcomes the Riga Declaration. We are looking forward to continuing working with our members, the Ministries of Education across Europe and other partners, to support changes in education through teacher training and pilot projects”.
Signe Bāliņa, president of Latvian Information and Communications Technology Association (LIKTA) is confident, that “priorities of the Declaration match with the goals of our association – the leading e-skills NGO stakeholder in Latvia. For example, in 2013 we started to provide ICT skills training for employees of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The Riga Declaration on e-Skills provides action areas for development of the Digital Economy, its provided solutions are significant for SMEs, providing greater business opportunities for both manufacturing and service sectors, promoting economic competitiveness”.
Research organization expects forecasts 660,000 ICT jobs to be added to the existing pool of ICT workers in Europe by 2020. “On top of that, a potential 820,000 jobs could be filled by 2020, if talent would become available to an extent beyond our extrapolation of current trends,” says Tobias Hüsing, Senior Research Consultant at Empirica.
“As the digital revolution begins to impact all corners of the economy, people are going to need e-Skills to qualify for a wide array of jobs, not just positions inside tech companies,” said John Higgins, Director General of DIGITAL EUROPE. “Within a decade plumbers, farmers, small shop owners, even bakers and shoemakers will be turning to digital technologies such as data analytic in their day-to-day lives to improve their efficiency.”
The benefits of the digital revolution has been identified by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker as a top priority and an essential means to ending Europe’s prolonged economic downturn. Unemployment remains stubbornly high in many EU Member States. But at the same time there is a parallel shortage of people with the digital skills needed to fill positions both in the public and private sectors. Over the last decade, the number of ICT jobs in Europe has continued to grow, despite the unfavourable economic context and the alarming rise in unemployment, especially among young job seekers.
Creating new jobs and attracting qualified specialists are up to date issues in the context of the European Digital Single Market, as one of the priorities of the Latvian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
Conference "e-Skills for Jobs in 2015” was organized by the LIKTA in collaboration with the EC and the Latvian Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development, during the Latvian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
Representative of LIKTA