Strengthen Graduates, Reduce Unemployment, Spur Innovation in Europe

July 15th, 2014

INNSBRUCK, July 9, 2014 – Whether developing medical technology, energy resources, information technology or bioengineering – the future is in the so-called STEM sector. Qualified skilled workers from the academic disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics are in higher demand than ever before. As their importance for the European economy intensifies, so too does the shortage of employees in this area. Up to 900,000 professionals in the STEM and ICT—information and communication technology—sectors could be needed in Europe in 2015.

New Channels of Communication and a Vision for Southern Europe

Even today, eight out of ten industrial enterprises are having trouble finding qualified skilled workers in areas such as engineering, manufacturing or research and development. Between one out of five and one out of six of newly advertised STEM positions remains unfilled. The job market forecast confirms that these sectors will become increasingly important in the future. By 2020, there will be five million new jobs for engineers and related professionals created in Europe, 30,000 in Austria alone. The task now is to fill these positions and to strengthen the EU’s competitiveness. The solution lies in other European countries and opening up new channels of communication between them. According to a study by Bitkom Research GmbH, more and more German companies have begun focusing their recruiting efforts on southern Europe. Given the high unemployment rates in the southern European countries, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece have proven to be fertile ground for recruiting.

Source: Academy Cube

Source: Academy Cube

Closing the Skilled Labor Gap Online

To aid in the search and recruitment of suitable talents, the Academy Cube—an online job and training platform for companies and professionals in Europe—has been developed. With an intelligent matching system, the career platform shows applicants which qualifications they lack, offers them suitable (mostly free) trainings, and networks highly qualified employees with top employers. “We need innovative approaches to combat youth unemployment and skill shortages in Europe. The Academy Cube, a Europe-wide initiative, prepares talents to meet the new demands of the labor market and puts them with in contact with multinational corporations. Your chances on the labor market will increase and companies will have the opportunity to search for the best minds across Europe,” stated Prof. Dr. Dietmar Kilian, CEO of PDAgroup and professor at the Management Center Innsbruck (MCI). The goal is to reduce the gap between unemployment, on the one hand, and the shortage of skilled workers, on the other hand. Even the number of entry-level opportunities for academics seeking employment should increase. “A big problem is the general lack of transparency in the labor market: Students do not know detailed information about the employers’ needs and projects – but companies also need to gain a better understanding of the job market and graduates. Often, there are only minor gaps in training that need to be bridged in order to overcome these challenges – and, for those, E-learning can help the applicants succeed. In each and every case, interdisciplinary and state-of-the-art trainings that are practice-oriented will prepare them perfectly for the future,” added Prof. Dr. Peter Mirski, founding partner of PDAgroup and Head Academic Advisor at MCI. By selectively bringing together leading companies and talented academics along with targeted training opportunities, the platform promises to meet the demand for highly qualified employees in high-tech companies in a simple and effective way. In demand are specialists who continually develop both personally and professionally beyond the requirements of their original job descriptions. This is a consequence of the boundaries in the STEM sector often being blurred or nonexistent – often many technical innovations give rise to new scientific findings – and computer science without advanced knowledge in mathematics is not sufficient for a successful outcome. “Terms such as industry 4.0, cyber physical systems, smart vehicles and networked devices are currently the big buzzwords. We are seeing that the next wave of innovation will take place mainly through optimizing, combining and coordinating the interactions between hardware, software and human beings. Instead of “standard” engineers and “classic” computer scientists, professionals who can approach the new challenges posed to them in a comprehensive and interdisciplinary way will be increasingly in demand,” said Dr. Bernd Welz, Executive Vice President and Head of Solution and Knowledge Packaging, SAP SE, as he explained the interdisciplinary nature of today’s business world.

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