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Europe faces IT skills crisis

UK calls on EU to set up task force

The British government is calling on the EU to establish a skills and mobility task force in an effort to combat an EU-wide shortage in skilled IT workers.

Speaking at a meeting of EU ministers in Lule, Sweden, Employment Minister Tessa Jowell, the head of the Department for Education and Employment, requested the task force, a spokeswoman for the DfEE confirmed.

"This skills task force should be a small, dynamic core of business leaders, government representatives and academics meeting to examine the problem of skills shortages in Europe."

By 2006, around 90 percent of the new jobs created in the UK will require basic IT and keyboard skills, said Jowell.

The DfEE estimates there will be 1.7 million vacancies in the IT sector by 2003.

"This European-wide approach is vital if we are to ensure we have a sufficiently skilled work force to meet the needs of the IT industry," Jowell said in a printed copy of her speech.


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