Developing a Thriving Digital Talent Ecosystem in Europe
More than 170 countries have released digital strategies and over 50 have unveiled AI strategies to promote sustainable economic growth and prosperity through ICT. However, a shortage of digital talent is a significant factor limiting digital economic development and industrial innovation.
In addition to successfully carrying out digital and intelligent transformation, developing digital talent and improving digital literacy is a huge challenge for all countries. The EU's 2030 Digital Compass plan aims to train 20 million ICT specialists and equip 80% of adults with basic digital skills by 2030.
Talent development initiatives must take rapidly evolving industry technologies into account. Talent development programs offered by universities are not enough to address the skill gaps created by accelerated digital transformation across all industries. So, Huawei is leveraging its expertise and successful practices in ICT to build talent alliances, upskill professionals, and demonstrate the value of digital talent in Europe. Huawei is also upholding its commitment to support Europe by cultivating talented and competitive ICT specialists and serving as a key player in the growth of digital talent across the continent.
Developing digital talent alongside universities
As a global technology company, Huawei fosters talent ecosystems and shares ICT knowledge and skills around the world. Run in partnership with universities and colleges, the Huawei ICT Academy is a key initiative for developing talent.
Since 2011, Huawei has partnered with universities to share the latest ICT developments with students around the world through training courses, online learning, and lab training. The company applies cutting-edge industry knowledge directly to academia, encourages students to gain professional Huawei certifications, and supports talent development by building the practical skills needed by the global ICT industry. Since students rarely have the opportunity to participate in real-world projects, Huawei ICT Academy includes both theoretical lessons and practical training to bridge the gaps between academia and industry. The ICT Academy currently offers three types of courses: general, practice, and professional (Figure 1), and by January 2023, Huawei had launched 18 courses in English.
Figure 1: Huawei ICT Academy provides a wide range of ICT courses
By June 2023, Huawei had established ICT Academies in more than 2,600 colleges and universities globally, with more than 11,000 dedicated teachers training over 200,000 students each year. In Europe, Huawei has established more than 200 academies in partnership with local universities and colleges, with more than 10,000 students enrolled in 2022. These academies have been a crucial stepping stone in the careers of many specialists in Europe's ICT industry and are continuing to facilitate a thriving digital economy.
Huawei teamed up with Henley Business School (HBS), one of the oldest business schools in the UK and part of the University of Reading, to build the country's first Huawei ICT Academy. HBS and Huawei continue to work together to equip students with the ICT skills they need to stand out in the labor market by offering certified courses to both faculty and students, covering the latest technologies and industry trends, including cloud and networking. Students also have the opportunity to compete in the Huawei ICT Competition with top talent from across the globe. Furthermore, HBS hosts a Huawei ICT Academy Support Center (IASC) to equip business leaders with digital management skills and professionals with ICT skills.
In Spain, the Huawei Certified ICT Associate (HCIA) courses offered by Huawei ICT Academy at the University of Alicante are compulsory courses that train outstanding teachers and young talent. In 2021 alone, the University of Alicante organized six masterclasses, three offline campus recruitment events, and a large job fair in collaboration with the local government and chamber of commerce. During 2022, the number of online students exceeded 1,000 and the number of students certified by Huawei grew from fewer than 10 to more than 160, the most anywhere in Western Europe.
Many similar success stories exist thanks to Huawei's commitment to establishing partnerships with European universities that are tailored to reflect local digital economic development, and then introducing targeted ICT courses that benefit teachers, students, and universities.
Collaborating on future digital talent
Given the pressing demand from different industries for digital talent, Huawei works alongside international educational organizations, governments, and partners to provide access to technologies, share experiences, and build a platform for the development of a robust ICT talent ecosystem.
Under the theme Tech for Good, Huawei partners with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) in the UK to enhance young people's programming skills and encourage them to consider a career in technology.
Huawei also collaborates with UNESCO. The International Institute of Online Education (IIOE) is a non-profit online education platform run by the International Centre for Higher Education Innovation under the auspices of UNESCO. Huawei provides cloud technologies to support platform operations and offers 14 advanced ICT certification courses for free to help teachers improve their technical skills. Huawei also participated in the third UNESCO World Higher Education Conference, during which the company launched the Seeds for the Future scholarship program and signed MOUs with 11 ICT academies and educational organizations across Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Africa to support the development of future digital talent (Figure 2).
Figure 2: Huawei held the Digital Talent Summit during the 3rd UNESCO World Higher Education Conference in May 2022
Demonstrating the value of talent
Developing a talent ecosystem should be a top priority in Europe. Huawei has released a talent white paper and organized the ICT Competition and Talent Ecosystem Forum to demonstrate the value of talent and empower and facilitate talent development.
Figure 3: Strategies to Address the Digital Skills Gap in the EU jointly released by Huawei and Ernst & Young
In 2022, Huawei and Ernst & Young released Strategies to Address the Digital Skills Gap in the EU (Figure 3). Comprising a detailed analysis of the digital skills gap in the EU, the report suggests solutions to close the gap and methods for improving ICT education and learning opportunities, supporting women's participation in the ICT sector, and promoting the development of a collaborative digital skills ecosystem.
We are committed to enabling every European to benefit from improvements in their digital skills.
Huawei also organizes annual events such as the Huawei ICT Talent Job Fair and HCIE Night to connect talent with enterprises, promote fresh graduate employment, and help young talent create value in the industry.
Huawei is working diligently to create the European talent ecosystem. In the future, the company will continue collaborating with governments, industry organizations, and universities to build an open, reliable, mutually beneficial, and sustainable ICT talent ecosystem. This will help drive the constant improvement of digital skills and facilitate digital inclusion, technological advancement, and social and economic sustainability.
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