Big Data

Can Europe's unemployed help plug the IT skills shortfall?

A new scheme has been announced designed to lower Europe's unemployment and plug a reported IT skills gap.

Europe has more than 18 million unemployed, and yet the continent's IT industry reportedly needs some 200,000 people. Why not take those unemployed and help them to get jobs in IT?

That's the theory behind the Academy Cube scheme to train up the Europe's unemployed in the digital skills businesses will need in the near future.

Software giant SAP is partnering with organisations including Microsoft Deutschland, Software AG and the German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) to create the scheme.

SAP co-CEO Jim Hagemann Snabe said: "We find ourselves in a very peculiar situation where in Europe there's huge unemployment among young, well-motivated people and yet the IT industry estimates we are missing 100 - 200,000 people."

The Academy Cube will use an e-learning platform, currently used by SAP to teach skills relating to its in-memory platform Hana, to instruct participants in the scheme.

He said the e-learning platform had the potential to "educate 30,000 people in one class instead of 20 and get very good results", saying it had already paid dividends when used to teach about Hana.

"We are taking this platform and enabling it with content from not just SAP, but a variety of companies like Microsoft and Software AG."

Part of what the initiative will focus on teaching are skills needed for businesses to become "Industry 4.0", where the likes of embedded software and M2M communication is used to digitise the business value chain.

The initiative will initially target people living in Spain, where the unemployment rate has hit 25 per cent.

The Academy Cube will presented to the public at CeBit 2013.

About

Nick Heath is chief reporter for TechRepublic UK. He writes about the technology that IT-decision makers need to know about, and the latest happenings in the European tech scene.

5 comments
info
info

I've been in IT just as long as you have, Tony. I actually agree with her, and have seen just about everything she has. As well as having perfect qualifications for a job, but being passed over for it in favour of someone's friend or family member...I think my favourite was when I was working in Government. I'd see a department have several openings, all MANDATED to be filled by Government policy, and they wouldn't fill them because it would be too expensive. What worries me about programs like this is the quality of people these programs will produce. I'm all for training up people according to their aptitudes and skills in a pinch, but training up people that had no desire (or talent) to go into IT in the first place?

OurITLady
OurITLady

- There is no real IT skills shortage, they've been saying that for years but half the current IT workers can't find jobs. The shortage is in skilled people who have the laundry list of skills described in most vacancies, who are willing to work for little over the minimum wage that the majority of employers seem to want to pay - they'll take advantage of temporarily cheap labour, see point 1 - older workers are employable or capable of retraining, but we're back to point 1 again, although there is also the factor of age prejudice to be included, IT is a young persons career and if you're over 40 then you can't possibly keep up with the pace of new technology. Sorry if that sounds a touch cynical, I have only been in IT for 15 years so I may not have the experience yet that proves the above wrong. I know most of my training has been self study, I have had occasional employers who see the value in sending you on training, however they are few and far between. I also seen "entry level" positions that after 15 years of network, server admin and desktop experience I couldn't even qualify for, the list of technologies they want experience in is incredible and yet they want to pay entry level wages for it.

richard.s
richard.s

Sounds a good idea, especially in Spain where youth unemployment is so high, but: - Is there clear agreement about precisely which IT skills are "in crisis"? - Will the IT industry provide proper careers, or simply take advantage of temporarily cheap labour? - Why are so many older IT workers apparently not employable or capable of retraining?

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

:D I'm afraid you'll have to take missing that as further proof that you are more american than british... :p

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

so I've got to say you picked it up fast young lady. :) Got to say your air of cheerful optimism is a bit irritating though. I put down all calims of IT skills shortages to the ignorant, the incompetent and the mendacious.