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Lack of digital skills continues to be an issue in Europe

The European Union continues to experience a serious lack of digital skills which slows down innovation growth. The EU is working hard on finding a solution to the problem with the goal of building a single market for technology jobs in Europe, ComputerWeekly reports.

This is actually something the EU has been trying to put together for a while now. Back in April of this year the European Commission outlined 16 initiatives to move towards the single digital market in EU. Then it promised to create 3.8 million jobs in the tech sector. The 16 initiatives will be separated in three categories and have to be delivered by the end of 2016.

European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said the proposed strategy will create a market “fit for a digital age”. The Commission claims 90% of all jobs in the future will need some kind of digital skill, and a unified single digital economy will create jobs across Europe.

TechUK remains a bit skeptical towards the idea, though. The organization welcomes the initiatives but warns that the only way to create these 3.8 million new jobs is by making it easier for businesses to innovate. One EU survey showed that Europe is lagging in the innovation scale compared to South Korea for example and the USA.

In order to ease innovation in the EU, all 28 members must unify much more of their rules, techUK says. Currently most member states have quite differencing rules on the same topics which holds innovation back and slows the growth of Europe’s digital economy, techUK says. The EU will work best when it makes life simpler and clearer for both consumers and businesses.

The good news are the EU is working towards that. The bad news are that it is happening slower than most of the business would like. The main reason for this is that most member states are not approving or even reviewing the proposed changes fast enough. Sometimes they simply use this as a way to oppose the rules, but in some cases their own processes are too slow.

The EC is also hoping people will be more proactive themselves. In 2014, the European Commission urged people to learn to code, warning that a lack of basic coding skills could result in Europe facing a shortage of up to 900,000 ICT professionals by 2020. In 2014, the UK was found to be the only EU member state to reach maximum points for levels of policy and stakeholder activity on e-skills.