A coordinated approach towards developing advanced digital talent

This week, EfVET participate in a High-level  workshop on the relevance of the number of Digital Skills, Cybersecurity and Artificial Intelligence in Brussels It is in this context that this high-level forum has been convened to explore the challenges which both HEI and VET providers face in this dynamic and challenging environment of ever shorter tech cycles, increasing demand for advanced digital talent and limited planning horizons, all in the context of a shrinking EU labour force. The objectives are to:

  • Drive discussion around internal and external limitations at the supply of industry-relevant advanced digital talent.
  • Identify the respective roles and points of collaboration between HEI and VET.
  • Understand where policy can play a supportive role to further the development of digital talent at scale across the EU through fostering collaborations and reforms.

Both High Education Institution (HEI) and Vocational Education and Training (VET) have a role to play in the delivery of Advanced Digital Skills. Current data estimates that 2030 demand across skills in Cloud, IoT, Data, AI, Cybersecurity will on average double from the already high levels of demand identified in 2020, with profiles like Machine Learning Engineers expected to experience highest growth consistently across the decade.2 The demand is, however, far from linear, and ADS pose particular difficulties in the prediction, provision, and planning for both industry and education and training.

In this high-level forum we will discuss the various aspects surrounding the supply of talent from within HEI and VET surrounding key areas of:

  • Developing highly skilled, specialised IT profiles like Software Engineers, Computer Scientists, etc.
  • Supporting the upskilling of existing IT Specialists to meet the shifting needs of their current and future roles.
  • Enabling the upskilling and reskilling of IT adjacent profiles – i.e. STEM educated – who can meet urgent gaps and needs.
  • Supporting the upskilling of domain experts to leverage advanced digital technologies and guide development with technology teams.
  • Facilitating the individual.

Three invited speakers from European Commission participated the opening presentation. The pointed out the importance of micro-credentials as enablers to strengthen the lifelong learning. We should be ensure that higher education  and vocational education training system meet industry workforce needs through the inclusion of flexible training initiatives such as micro-accreditation.

In line with the workshop discussion, in this section, how to cover the shortage of ICT skilled people using the three different educational scenarios: skilling, upskilling and re-skilling. The shortage of ICT skilled people is also impacting the availability of trained academics. Skilling is the main goal of the universities who are now struggling to find candidates in the ICT sector.

During the case study we share our Project REWIRE and policy recommendation focus on Gender Gap to encouraging women to study cybersecurity and setting gender quotas for representational purposes. EfVET Executive said that” The poor representation of women in cybersecurity perpetuates a skewed workforce that lacks diverse viewpoints and skills essential for tackling the ever-evolving landscape of cyber threats. Closing the gender gap in cybersecurity is a vital necessity for the industry’s advancement and overall European digital security. Addressing the existing disparities would help the public sector and companies tackle the shortage of skilled professionals and is pity that in secondary young females tend to not consider STEM subjects as on option. This is alighted with the vocational education training and the need to encourage broader participation.”

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