27/04/2017

National Digital Skills & Jobs Coalition Officially Launched

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Minister Mary Mitchell O'Connor, has officially launched Ireland's National Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition.

The initiative forms part of the Skills Agenda for Europe which is being promoted across all EU Member States by the European Commission. It will be co-ordinated in Ireland by the Irish Computer Society Foundation, working with the Council of European Professional Informatics Societies (CEPIS)

The establishment of a national coalition in Ireland will result in actions supporting the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation ICT Skills Action Plan and Department of Education and Skills Digital Strategy for Schools, and will provide a mechanism to co-ordinate outcomes from existing projects and communicate results at a national and European level.

Minister O'Connor said: "It's one thing to have modern technology and modern communications. But it's quite another to develop the right skills to use digital technologies and then apply them in a working environment. Not before time, digital skills are now recognised as fundamentally essential skills, along with literacy and numeracy. They are also the basis for a functioning digital society and Digital Single Market. Digital advances are changing the structure and nature of employment as we know it today. The National Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition will support Ireland's continuing economic progress and competitiveness."

Jim Friars, CEO of the Irish Computer Society added: "There are many young people who use the internet and digital devices on an almost constant basis - but don't have the full skills needed to convert this interest into an actual job. We all know that this is not only about filling existing jobs. It's also about making sure Europe and Ireland have enough digitally skilled workers to fill the many new jobs that the Digital Single Market will create.

"No other investment will bring a higher return for society. But we can't do this alone. No single public authority, business, trade union or education provider can achieve the necessary modernisation by itself. What we need now is a broader, more inclusive and pan-European effort. That is what the Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition is all about. This launch builds on existing work to develop and expand a large pool of digital talent in Europe, particularly the Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs."

(MH)

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