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Are your skills and qualifications relevant? Companies lament job applicant education and training for ICT specialist jobs

In almost all Member States, more than 40 % of enterprises considered the lack of relevant qualifications from education and /or training to be a key reason why vacancies for ICT specialist jobs were hard to fill.

Data source: Eurostat

The agenda for new skills and jobs is one of the Europe 2020 flagship initiatives to boost inclusive growth, helping people to acquire new skills and to meet changing labour market needs.

The Council Conclusions of 12 May 2009 on a strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training highlight that cooperation between enterprises and the education and training sector can help to ensure a better focus on the job-specific skills and key competences required in the labour market.

However, data from the European ICT survey reveal a notable gap between ICT related qualifications provided by the education and training sector and those required by enterprises.

Key points:

  • At EU level, enterprises most frequently believe the number of applicants is an obstacle to fill vacancies for ICT specialist jobs (71 %). In the 23 Member States for which data are available, shares generally range from 39 % in Hungary to 92 % in Spain; in 16 of them with the most frequent cited obstacle observed.
  • In many cases, data show that education and training does not adequately meet business requirements for ICT qualifications. In 19 countries, over 40 % of enterprises question the relevance of applicants’ ICT qualifications. Comparing countries, the situation was most critical in Germany (87 %), Denmark (75 %), Sweden (68 %), the UK (66 %) and Latvia (65 %). Only in Lithuania, Hungary and Slovakia do qualifications play a minor role in filling ICT specialist job vacancies. 
  • In 11 Member States, around two-thirds of enterprises believe applicants lack ICT related work experience. In general, disparities between countries are low, but in the UK, a lack of work experience was by far the most frequent reason for hard to fill ICT vacancies. 
  • Too high salary expectations are a major reason for hard to fill ICT vacancies above all in the newer Member States. In three, it is the most frequent reason cited, and in a further four the second most frequent. Generally, in 10 newer Member States, the share of enterprises that noted unrealistic salary requests is above 50 % compared to the same situation in only six older Member States.

Note: Data presented are based on the European ICT survey 2007 and are subject to its methodology.