EU seals pact with firms in bid to fill 700,000 tech jobs

BRUSSELS Fri Jan 25, 2013 5:59pm IST

An employee walks past a Hewlett-Packard logo during the second day of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Telecom World 2006 in Hong Kong December 5, 2006. REUTERS/Paul Yeung/Files

An employee walks past a Hewlett-Packard logo during the second day of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Telecom World 2006 in Hong Kong December 5, 2006.

Credit: Reuters/Paul Yeung/Files

Related Topics

Stocks

   

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Commission unveiled a deal on Friday with Hewlett-Packard(HPQ.N), Telefonica(TEF.MC) and eight other telecoms and technology firms aimed at filling up to 700,000 high tech job vacancies.

Calling it a grand coalition, EU Telecoms Commissioner Neelie Kroes said the companies pledged to offer training, free online university courses or provide start-up funding.

The European Commission is seeking to spur economic growth, boost competitiveness and tackle a record jobless total of 26.1 million in the 27-country European Union, or 10.7 percent of the working population.

High tech vacancies have proven hard to fill because job seekers either do not have the right qualifications, have qualifications not recognised throughout the European Union or do not speak English.

"The digital skills gap is growing, like our unemployment queues," Kroes, who was in Davos for the World Economic Forum, said in a statement on Friday. "We need joint action between governments and companies to bridge that gap."

Other companies which signed up to the pact included German business software group SAP(SAPG.DE), U.S. networking equipment maker Cisco Systems(CSCO.O), world No. 2 staffing agency Randstad(RAND.AS) and Italian oil group Eni(ENI.MI).

Norwegian telecoms provider Telenor(TEL.OL), Finnish mobile phone maker Nokia(NOK1V.HE), Alcatel-Lucent(ALUA.PA) and ARM(ARM.L) also offered pledges to Kroes.

"The ICT (information and communications technology) sector is the new backbone of Europe's economy, and together we can prevent a lost generation and an uncompetitive Europe," Kroes said in a statement.

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Mark Potter)

FILED UNDER:

Fashion Designers Go Online

Reuters Showcase

Micromax Stake

Micromax Stake

SoftBank-led group in talks to buy stake in Micromax - sources  Full Article 

Plane Crash

Plane Crash

Co-pilot appears to have crashed Germanwings plane on purpose, prosecutor says  Full Article 

Airwaves Auction

Airwaves Auction

Top three mobile operators spend $13.6 bln in airwaves auction  Full Article 

Twitter Video App

Twitter Video App

Twitter launches video streaming app Periscope  Full Article 

Yemen Attacked

Yemen Attacked

Yemeni leader Hadi leaves country as Saudi Arabia keeps up air strikes on Houthi rebels  Full Article 

FIFA Politics

FIFA Politics

FIFA taking the wrong approach to development, says Prince Ali   Full Article 

Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey to wind up after sixth season, producer says  Full Article 

Photo

Amazon Fashion

Indian designers will create new products for online shoppers: Amazon India fashion head  Full Article 

Australia Beat India

Australia Beat India

Smith shines as Australia down India to reach final  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage