eSkills Quality Label Conference

European Conference on eSkills Quality very successful

‘We highly appreciate the enthusiasm and the very positive feedback by all key stakeholders on our proposals for the development of the quality label. It will really help closing the ICT skills gap in Europe’ said Werner B. Korte, director of empirica from Bonn, Germany who is coordinator of the eSkills Quality Label project for the European Commission, DG Enterprise and Industry.

The conference ‘Towards a European Quality label for ICT industry Based Training and Certification’ in Brussels on 24 January 2013 has been a great success. It brought together representatives of industry, ICT vendors, the education sector, independent certification and examination institutions, national employment agencies and the staffing industry, as well as officials from the four relevant European Commission’s DGs: Enterprise and industry, Education and Culture, Employment and Social Affairs and Communications Networks, Content and Technology.

They discussed the eSkills shortages and mismatches in Europe and how industry-based training and certification in ICT can become part of the solution to reduce ICT skills shortages and unemployment.

View the video for a summary of the project’s results and a summary of the conference.

Several presentations (see www.eskills-quality.eu/conference) during the conference made clear that there is a serious risk that Europe’s economic recovery will be held back by a lack of adequate ICT skills.

Tobias Huesing presented the outcome of the eSkills Quality study on the demand and supply for eSkills and eSkills related certification in Europe until 2015.

Participants representing important stakeholders in this issue indicated their support for a concerted campaign to tackle the shortfall. A general agreement in principle emerged to develop e-skills quality labels, tools and services that could boost employment – and employability – in Europe.

A quality label for ICT industry training and certification could help bring transparency to the current
complexity of offers from distinct providers, agreed a panel of experts from the sectors facing the
challenge. It could also promote mobility among ICT professionals, and attract new pools of talent
into the ICT profession.

Terry Hook presented a model for a European e-Skills Quality label together with its criteria, processes and structures for ICT-based training and certification, one of the results of the eSkills Quality project.

Consensus emerged that a widely-accepted quality label could help bring a new degree of focus to
filling the impending skills gap. It would be based on the European e-Competence Framework (e-CF)
developed by the European Committee on Standardisation (CEN), and together with an online selfassessment
tool (a prototype is available here: www.e-competence-quality.com) would offer guidance in a
complex ICT certification landscape, aiding the development of clear career pathways in ICT and
bringing a new and sharper profile to ICT professionals.

Lex Hendriks demonstrated another result of this project: the self-assessment tool based on the mapping of industry based certificates and eSkills deliverables to the e-CF, part of the online e-skills landscape service.

Discussions among stakeholders attending the eSkills Quality conference are now starting on the next steps in the context of a Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs which will be officially launched on 4-5 March 2013 in Brussels.