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Emerging digital skill shortages and skill mismatches in the Western Balkans: can universities provide the high-quality education needed for the future?

Bartlett, Will ORCID: 0000-0002-6775-4339 (2021) Emerging digital skill shortages and skill mismatches in the Western Balkans: can universities provide the high-quality education needed for the future? In: Fetsi, Anastasia, Bardak, Ummuhan and Rosso, Francesca, (eds.) Changing skills for a changing world: Understanding skills demand in EU neighbouring countries. European Training Foundation, 246 - 260. ISBN 9789291577293

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Identification Number: 10.2816/069224

Abstract

This article provides a review and analysis of the extent and nature of the digital skills gaps and mismatch in the labour markets of the Western Balkan region1. It is based on analysis of administrative data on the number of students graduating from information and communication technologies (ICT) study programmes, combined with a forecast of the future shortages that are likely to emerge in this field. It shows that while the demand for labour in the digital economy is growing rapidly, universities are falling behind in equipping students with the appropriate skills for the new digital workplace, leading to a shortage of graduates with relevant ICT qualifications. Without an increase in the provision of university education in ICT study fields and an improvement in its quality, this skill gap is likely to persist in the future. The article also draws on large-scale surveys of both graduates and employers in the Western Balkans which show that graduates experience a difficult transition into the labour market, with insufficient support and guidance provided to assist in them in their job search activities. The surveys also reveal severe skill mismatches among graduate employees with ICT qualifications, who, as a group, show the highest proportion of graduates from any field whose qualifications fall below the level required by the job. The article concludes that universities in the Western Balkans are failing to produce graduates in sufficient numbers or with the high level of skills required by economies that are rapidly adopting new digital technologies. It provides a number of recommendations on how universities and employers could adapt to provide the high-quality digital education needed for the future emerging digital economies.

Item Type: Book Section
Official URL: https://www.etf.europa.eu/en/publications-and-reso...
Additional Information: © 2021 European Training Foundation
Divisions: European Institute
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Date Deposited: 02 Dec 2022 00:03
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 05:58
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/117489

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