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­nemployed in Europe Stymied By Lack of Technology Skills

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About half of information technology jobs in Dublin, Ireland, are being filled with skilled foreign workers.

A large portion of Europe's unemployed, and young people entering the workforce, lack the skills required for many information technology-based job opportunities.

Credit: Paulo Nunes dos Santos/The New York Times

Many information technology-based job opportunities are emerging across Europe, but a large portion of the continent's unemployed workers and young people entering the workforce lack the necessary skills.

"In all countries, there is an expectation that many of the new jobs created will be in the knowledge-intensive economy," says the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's Glenda Quintini. "But we are seeing a worrisome skills mismatch that means a large number of unemployed people are not well prepared for the pool of jobs opening up."

Overall, there are approximately 2 million job vacancies in the European Union in various sectors, including hotel work and computer programming, according to Eurostat, and a recent study by the European Commission (EC) predicts that by 2015 about 900,000 information and communications technology vacancies may go unfilled in the European Union. Microsoft, PayPal, and Fujitsu have started expanding in Ireland, for example, but have had to look outside the country to recruit sufficient people.

The EC study notes the lack of qualified workers "is of major concern to European competitiveness" and to the economy as a whole. In response, European governments and companies are boosting their efforts to retrain the unemployed and are trying to attract university students to mathematics, engineering, and science degrees.

From The New York Times
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