EC: Youth in Latvia need stronger computer skills

The pandemic has accelerated a number of processes in the labor market that began several years ago. Quite a large number of people might have to retrain to find work. The European Commission (EC) has come up with proposals to help, especially  young people, acquire the qualifications currently required in the labor market, Latvian Radio reported on July 6.

Everyone today shoold know how to handle a computer. Yet there are still many adults in Europe who do not. Among them  - also young people who know very well how to use the computer for entertainment but when faced with professional issues, they get confused. Therefore, the European Employment Commissioner, Nicolas Schmidt, said in a conversation with Latvian Radio that young people need both better support for the choice of the profession and different additional courses.

“When young people choose the direction of studies, they have to understand how much demand for this profession is in the labor market. We therefore need to strengthen the role of advisers. Additional training should also be improved. For example, digital skills can help people find work. And it is not as important as their previous education has been,” said Schmidt.

The European Commission hopes that the number of adults with minimum computer skills will rise to 70% over five years. Last year, the number was only 56%.

The Commissioner believes that a general overview of what professions are needed in the labor market, what specialists are available and how to provide retraining for the unemployed in order to fill the empty jobs could be useful in our country.

“I don't have detailed information about the situation in Latvia right now, but if there is a mismatch in your country between the qualifications of employees and the professions that are required in the labor market, it would be worth developing a general national skill strategy. We would very much like to develop it in many Member States.” said Schmidt.

It is estimated that the labor market could change significantly in the coming years, especially in the aspects of switching to environmentally friendly farming and the growth of digital technologies. Artificial intelligence and robotics alone will create 60 million jobs in the world over the next five years.

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