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Europe Battling Digital Brain Drain

News   •   Feb 26, 2013 11:32 GMT

The UK IT Association (UKITA) has this to say about the EU Digital Brain Drain: "The widening skill gap in the IT sector is creating a brain drain across Europe. The issue is not created by the number of young, talented digital professionals, the EU is producing many people fully conversant in the new technologies. Nor is it being fed by lack of demand for IT workers, all across the EU companies are calling out for more skilled IT professionals. The gap seems to be caused by the lack of a common framework of IT competencies which allows companies to understand what they need, and allows young professionals to ensure they gather the correct skill sets. We welcome the news the the Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs is setting up a centrally recognised competency framework which we believe will help close the IT skills gap, and prevent the Brain Drain spreading into the UK IT Sector".

Europe strives to hold back 'digital brain drain'

Published 21 February 2013 by Euractiv

Thousands of young Spanish and Greek professionals are leaving their homeland in search of employment. The result is a mass exodus of young, educated Spaniards – a brain drain, the likes of which has not been seen since the end of the Spanish Civil War in 1939.

Most worrying from a European perspective, they are not simply leaving for northern Europe. Although firm figures are difficult to come by, Mexico's immigration office, the Instituto Nacional de Migracion, reports the number of Spaniards granted work permits in the last quarter of 2012 alone at 7,630.

These job migration trends have not gone unnoticed in the European Union, which is struggling with worst unemployment rates in decades following the 2008 financial and economic meltdown.

In March, the European Commission is set to launch a "Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs", outlining measures designed to increase job mobility, but also to rationalise training and certification in the sector to match skills to vacancies.

The root causes of the brain drain – a lack of available labour in southern Europe, and a lack of skilled youth in northern countries – will require deeper remedies, however.

New standards for competence in ICT

According to Fiona Fanning, the secretary general of the Council of European Professional Informatics Societies CEPIS, the increasing demand for skilled workers in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector in stabler economies is hampered not only by the lack of new entrants into the profession, but also by mismatches in competences that workers have today.

The lack of a common means to consistently understand and communicate ICT professional competencies and attractive career paths is considered one of the key reasons for this.

Seeking to resolve this challenge, the e-Competence Framework (e-CF) – a pan-European reference framework of ICT competences – will be recognised as a priority by the Grand Coalition.

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