Commission’s new Industrial and SME Strategies highlight importance of digital skills

The European Commission has brought out two Communications as part of a new Industrial Strategy for a globally competitive, green and digital Europe. The New Industrial Strategy for Europe focuses on supporting the industry’s ecological and digital transition. The second Communication,  An SME Strategy for a sustainable and digital Europe, aims to support and empower European SMEs, by helping them become more sustainable, digital and scale up in the Digital Single Market.

Both documents emphasise skills as one of the most important enablers for the green and digital transition and state that a skilled workforce is a prerequisite for a competitive industry.  In this context, particular emphasis is placed on lifelong learning. The documents state that there are currently 1 million vacancies in Europe for digital technology experts. 70% of companies report that they are postponing investments because they cannot find the workforce with the right skills. For industry workers, digitisation, automation and advances in artificial intelligence will mean an important shift in their skill set. Therefore, according to the Commission, reskilling is fundamental for Europe’s economy.


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