CIONET Europe’s Frits Bussemaker and Julie Beardsell joined around 200 guests at a special reception hosted by the European Internet Foundation (EIF) on the eve of the Digital Agenda Assembly held last week at the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences in Brussels.
The event provided a unique opportunity for the European Parliament, the European Commission and many stakeholders in the ICT sector to meet up and reflect on the progress of Europe’s digital transformation. Special Guest, Neelie Kroes, European Commission Vice-President responsible for the Digital Agenda commented on how the ICT sector badly needs skills.
It is predicted that there will be up to 700,000 vacancies by 2015 unless more is done to direct more young people into computing degrees, retrain mid-career unemployed people, and attract more women into the sector.
On behalf of CIONET Europe, Julie Beardsell is picking up on the challenge to make the ICT sector more attractive to women, addressing the skills gap and the need for greater diversity. The initiative was welcomed by participants including European Parliament Members Pilar del Castillo (EIF Chair) and Marietje Schaake (EIF Governor).