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Political background

22 June 2016

The e-CF COUNCIL aims to foster IT professionals’/ workers’ mobility across Europe and reduce the ICT Skills mismatch and shortage; contribute to a common frame of IT professionalism at European and international level; encourage dialogue between the social partners to facilitate transnational mobility and employment; and propose quality-based models for governance of the enlarged transnational partnerships.

European cooperation is fundamental to build a clear and shared picture of IT professionalism, in line with the needs also expressed in the e.g. latest EU directive on recognition of professional qualifications (Directive 2013/55/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 November 2013 amending Directive 2005/36/EC on the recognition of professional qualifications).


In recent studies on the ICT market, it clearly emerges that “The ICT workforce, according to our definition, in Europe in 2014, comprises 7.5 million workers, or 3.5% of the European workforce. Broadening up the definition further, including ICT mechanics and manual workers skills would add 1.4 million ICT workers, to a European Labour Force of 8.9 million ICT workers. [….] ICT practitioners are working in almost all industries of the economy and not just in the ICT industry sector”.

























Enormous changes in the structure of the workforce are happening right now. “There is a surge in ”Management” and ”Plan/Design” positions: IS management and governance, architecture, analysis. Europe has added 459,000 jobs in this category in only three years. There is also obviously a high demand for “core ICT jobs”, such as Software and Application developers, Web and Multimedia experts, Database designers and administrators, system administrators and network and operations practitioners. The open vacancy data that is available from different sources for several countries shows that there is also a severe excess demand for these core jobs. In vacancy data the most sought after IT positions currently are software engineering and web development jobs, and application administrators. These jobs are in high demand with many unfilled vacancies reported.” (Empirica, e-Skills in Europe, Nov 2015).


The New Skills Agenda for Europe adopted by the EC on 10 June sets, among its priorities, the re-launch of the "Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition" that brings together Member States and education, employment and industry stakeholders to tackle this digital skills gap by developing a large digital talent pool and ensure that individuals and the labour force in Europe are equipped with adequate digital skills.


The Empirica and Exin study for the EC, “Towards European e-Skills Quality Labels for ICT Industry Training and Certifications” (02/2013) highlights that “European industry insists on the need for an e-skills quality label and accompanying support to identify and select the most suitable certifications for staff. Employees and students urgently require appropriate guidance through the confusions of the IBTC [industry based training and certification] market to distinguish high-quality certifications from those of questionable value. ICT vendors offering certifications are interested in a label recognised as a warranty of their quality.”


Based on this need, the e-CF Alliance will design of a common reference scheme (e-CF COUNCIL scheme) for vocational qualifications and certifications, including prior learning recognition (non-formal, informal learning); it will design a set of EQF (European Qualification Framework)-based Learning Units related to about 15 e-competences selected from the European e-Competence Framework version 3.0 (e-CF3.0) 40 e-competences; and it will design a pilot joint vocational qualification based on the e-CF COUNCIL scheme, identified within the ESCO IT Occupations.

For more information please contact: 

Francesca Falco, DIGITALEUROPE

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