Europe Faces Severe Skills Shortage

Europe is facing a severe lack of educated and qualified workers in the
fields of science technology and engineering which threatens to undermine the future economic competitiveness therefore urgent action must be taken was the message at the 2012 European Business Summit which took place in Brussels earlier this month.

At the summit which will be attended by business and political leaders
skills will be on top of the agenda. According to statistics most European employers cut or froze their investments in training last year despite ongoing skills shortage and less than 18% polled planned to increase spending on skills training over the next 12 months.

A report conducted for the Federation of Enterprises in Belgium (FEB)by
Accenture  Consultants stated that even with a 0.5% growth rate Europe would need seven years to regain employment levels last seen in 2008.  The report focused on untapped talent, poor labour mobility and a lack of cross sector collaboration with a view to seeing how these can be improved.  It is claimed that employers are failing to recognize the different challenges posed by older unemployed or jobless mothers and youths.

While almost two-thirds of respondents agreed that Europe’s skills challenges can only be solved through collaboration, fewer than half (29%) actually work with other organisations in their sector, the survey found.

Tailoring support to different groups within the labour market, increasing flexible working opportunities and developing networks among other companies in similar sectors are among key actions that the report recommended for employers.

Meanwhile policymakers must improve provisions for the common recognition of skills and qualifications across Europe and support the creation of partnerships between businesses and educational establishments, the report said.