Against the backdrop of the biggest eSkills campaign in Europe, an exciting national eSkills roadshow to help stimulate economic growth in Hungary was launched by Microsoft together with the Association of IT Enterprises and the HELB Foundation
Putting new skills and new innovation on the horizon. 1,2 Million Hungarians embrace digital skills in the workplace
This co-joint initiative between industry, academia and NGOs is based on a broader project known as ‘TITAN’ that defines itself as primary support for the rebuilding of the Hungarian economy in the field of employability and competitiveness. Those actively engaged numbered 2000 Small and Medium sized enterprises (SME’s) and students! Strong media awareness was driven around the need for citizens to upgrade digital skills, in response more than 130 press articles covered the campaign. We welcomed the supportive stance of Laszlo Andor, European Commissioner for Employment and Social Affairs as a signal that this co-joint project is moving in the right direction. It was significant to see that he reaffirmed the importance of raising the priority of training and skills on the political agenda, here is his video message to conference participants at the closing event:
“It is fundamental to Europe’s competitiveness that its citizens perpetually refresh their knowledge within the framework of life-long learning. Enterprises should continually train their employees, especially in the field of ICT Technologies. I think it is essential that the EU2020 strategy should reflect the importance of e-skills. If cooperation can be established between political stakeholders, NGOs, and enterprises, Europe can become one of the most competitive world regions.” Laszlo Andor, European Commissioner for Employment and Social Affairs
We are excited to see that the mass e-skills training programme is expected to make a marked impact and is awaiting the final green light and financing from EU funds from the new government. The TITAN programme aims to train and re-skill 1,2 million Hungarian citizens (IT Pros/entrepreneurs/general workforce) with different levels of e-skills in 5 years.
The decision was taken by partners to pilot an SME curriculum and promote enhanced digital solutions for business efficiency. A crucial bottleneck behind the current weakness and underperformance of Hungarian economy is the introverted, untrusting nature of most Hungarian entrepreneurs. TITAN aims at helping them understand the crucial importance of “thinking IT” and the inevitability of life-long training for both themselves and their employees. All are doomed to fail in face of the global competition without the necessary skills. In this vein, the e-skills week campaign also hosted a TITAN pilot seminar for more than 600 SMEs, where participants were trained for the rules of the digital economy in subjects such as IT deployment projects, online marketing, IT security, ERP solutions etc.
We firmly believe that renewed government engagement for TITAN is a necessity, as a training programme of this magnitude can only be successful if all partners contribute their shares. Reinforcing the existing multi-stakeholder alliance, a declaration entitled “Digital wake-up” has been signed by all stakeholders at the end of the campaign. The declaration urges TITAN implementation and proposes e-skills to be made a priority for the Hungarian EU Council Presidency in the first half of 2011.
“The EU has realized that ICT skills are a key instrument for tackling the challenges Europe faces. For the creation of a successful Europe there is a need for developing a long-term digital preparedness strategy, as it is essential to create the Single Digital Market. The promotion of employability and digital cohesion through enhancing quality education and vocational training for future generations provides an opportunity for Europe through which an intelligent and sustainable growth can be attained.” Edit Herczog, MEP and EU e-skills Ambassador.
The new government has made a pledge of creating 1.000.000 new jobs, and what would be a million jobs without a million people trained for digital literacy and user skills? Indeed, IDC forecast for Hungary that 92% of jobs available by 2014 will only be for the digitally literate –This is definitely an impetus for action!
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