Coding the future: Discussion paper from Top of Digital Europe

in News, Publications

Programming in school should be on top of the agenda!

That is one of the recommendations in a discussion paper published by “Top of Digital Europe”.

The paper, “Coding the Future – The challenge of meeting future e-skill demands in the Nordic-Baltic ICT hub”, deals with the emerging gap between demand and supply of ICT specialists. In Europe, this gap could reach 900,000 by 2020 if not addressed, according to the European Commission.

The Baltic Sea Region is considered to be among global frontrunners in ICT and digital performance. But is the region prepared to meet the challenges in the growing gap between supply and demand of e-skills?

The paper includes the results of a survey among companies and universities in five Baltic Sea Region countries. The survey indicates that there is a gap between educational institutions and the industry regarding what kind of e-skills are needed and how to provide them. The paper provides a brief overview of the debate on e-skills and a snapshot of the situation in the Baltic Sea Region, displaying the level of e-skills and the diversity of approaches and experiences.

Coding_the_future_200pxThe paper suggests a number of concrete actions:

•    National governments should further investigate, evaluate and enable the introduction of programming in school from an early age.
•    Teachers and school leaders should be allotted the resources, time and incentives they need to leverage ICT s in education from the bottom up.
•    The knowledge value chain of e-skills should be mapped and monitored, and successful models of e-skills collaborations between industry and education should be identified and benchmarked.

The discussion paper was presented at the high-level conference “e-skills for jobs 2015” in Riga in March 2015 organised by the Latvian EU Presidency, the European Commission and the Latvian ICT Association LIKTA.

Top of Digital Europe will follow up on the launch of the paper by suggesting discussions of the different approaches and best practices regarding e-skills collaborations in the Baltic Sea Region, combining diversity with the digital strongholds of the region. We want to inspire and promote more regional cooperation and cross-border action in the Baltic Sea Region to address the challenge of the growing demand for e-skills.

For more information, please contact Torben Aaberg, “Top of Digital Europe”,

Top of Digital Europe, ICT Think Tank for the Baltic Sea Region
Top of Digital Europe is an independent, non-profit think tank that promotes the Baltic Sea Region as a leader in the ICT sector. Top of Digital Europe facilitates dialogue and provides concrete recommendations on how to further strengthen the digital economy in the Baltic Sea Region. Top of Digital Europe is a joint initiative of Baltic Development Forum (BDF) and Microsoft, and was launched in 2014 with support from Siemens.