The following information is a UPC Ireland Press release from before the move to Virgin Media
39% of EU workforce lack proper digital skills UPC and Fast Track to IT (FIT)
Celebrate Get Online Week 2015, March 23 - 27 Ireland,
24th March 2015: Ireland’s leading connected entertainment provider UPC and Fast Track to IT (FIT) are joining forces to promote the importance of digital skills and encourage everyone to get online during Get Online Week which runs this week until Sunday, March 29th .
According to a European Commission Scoreboard report on Digital Inclusion and Skills*, 39% or about 4 in every 10 workers across the EU do not have necessary digital skills. In Ireland, the figure is about 15% ranking us behind the Nordic countries and our EU neighbours the UK, Germany and France.
While the overall situation is improving year on year, 1 in every 5 Europeans are still offline and do not use the Internet at all. Ireland ranks well at 15th and slightly ahead of the EU28 average with a weekly Internet usage by over 70% of our population. By comparison to Ireland, the UK ranks 8th , Germany 10th, France 13th . The highest rates of weekly internet use are found in the Nordic countries, Luxemburg and the Netherlands, where rates are around 90% or more.
Peter Davitt, CEO at Fast Track to IT (FIT) said:
“People with digital skills are essential for Ireland’s competitiveness. Improving digital skills is a key instrument in our fight against unemployment, particularly youth unemployment. While there are five million unemployed young people in the EU, 38,800 in Ireland, there will be up to 900,000 unfilled ICT vacancies across Europe in two years' time.
“The solution is obvious. We need to encourage more young people to take up ICT training and this is being strongly encouraged by FIT and UPC. For Get Online Week 2015, we have developed an introduction to e-participation tools resource for communities so that new audiences can find out how to participate actively in the week’s events through our mentorship programmes and digital workshops."
Most of the week’s activities will be locally run in community centres, telecentres, learning hubs, public libraries, schools and universities, and will be organized by FIT. This year, Get Online Week has two primary objectives:
- Digital Empowerment: to address primarily young people and those who are unemployed, in order to raise awareness about the existent skills gap and employment opportunities related to these skills.
- Digital Inclusion: to remind society that many people still do not have access to technology and Internet, and therefore we need to make an effort to attract first time computer users to the online world.
Magnus Ternsjo, CEO at UPC Ireland said:
“As a highly innovative company and being the leading connected entertainment provider in Ireland, it’s our responsibility to unite with other leaders in the ICT industry to collectively improve these figures by enhancing people’s digital skillsets, particularly young people, so that they more easily can avail of the numerous opportunities that currently exist.
“Our parent company, Liberty Global is one of the main sponsors of Get Online Week and, in Ireland, UPC is supporting Get Online Week through our partnership with YouRock. This is a free employability networking site that is designed to help young people to become more employable, and motivate them to see technology not only as intrinsic to their employability, but also as a potential career opportunity.”
Throughout Get Online Week 2015, 50,000 people across 24 countries will be directly involved with the week’s activities, reaching at least 2,000,000 Europeans. For more information, please visit http://www.getonlineweek.eu/, http://fit.ie/ and www.yourock.jobs *Scoreboard 2014 - Digital inclusion and skills in the EU 2014 http://ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda/en/news/scoreboard-2014-digital-inclusion-and-skills-eu- 2014
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Get Online Week: Since 2010, the year in which GOW first started, over 700,000 people have been involved in campaign activities. This year is the 6th edition of Get Online Week. Launched in Riga, the year’s event is the first milestone of the European Commission’s eSkills for Jobs Campaign 2015 led by Telecentre Europe’s Chair Mara Jakobsone. GOW is once again supported by Microsoft and Liberty Global (parent company of UPC Ireland).
Fast Track to IT (FIT) is a long-established initiative building on collaboration with major indigenous and international companies along with government departments and training agencies. FIT is committed to equip job seekers, especially those at risk of long term unemployment, with ICT skills to compete effectively in the marketplace. FIT is partnering with industry to develop appropriate marketled curricula, engages with state training agencies [SOLAS, ETBs] in the provision of training and collaborates with the Department of Social and Family Affairs and local development agencies to mobilise and recruit marginalised job seekers. FIT has been running since 1999. See description in next section. More information on www.fit.ie
YouRock is a free, multi-language, employability networking tool. It was founded in 2013 to support the employability of young people and was developed in response to two emerging issues in relation to youth unemployment and the economic crisis in the EU. It was created specifically to show that young people have a range of work skills often hidden in the things they do every day and to give them the language of employers to describe those skills. We have designed YouRock to create rich, dynamic profiles that will give employers a meaningful insight into the skills that its users have. More information on www.yourrock.jobs