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eSkills - Investing in European Youth to boost digital skills

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eSkills - Investing in European Youth to boost digital skills

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This episode of Planet Business comes form Sofia, Bulgaria.

Serge Rombi: “Vessela Kalacheva, CEO of BAIT (Bulgarian Association of Information Technologies), is with us. You’re from the European campaign eSkills for jobs. We need to develop digital talent to boost the competitiveness of SMEs in Europe?

Vessela: “That’s right, because 32 percent of the EU workforce has weak or no digital skills. The lack of graduates in ICT [information and communication technology] is leading to a gap that will affect an estimated 800,000 jobs by 2020.”

Serge: “Now we’re going to meet a young entrepreneur who has it all.”

Young Digital Talent of the Year

Lyubomir is just 21 years old. He is director of one of the most prominent startups in Sofia, Melissa Climate. Last year he won the Young Digital Talent of the Year award, part of the eSkills for Jobs campaign.

“I first started programming I was eight years old,” Melissa Climate founder Lyubomir Yanchev told Euronews. “I started doing taekwendo a martial art which tough me persistence and sport spirit. Melissa itself started as a school project. But, because my parents are entrepreneurs, I saw the opportunity in this product to become a real business.”

Melissa Climate app

Melissa. That’s not his girlfriend’s name, it’s this very clever little gadget. This box along with the app allows you to remotely control any air conditioner, whatever its brand.

“Melissa is a smart device that knows how to manage your air conditioner, in the most energy efficient way.” explains Yanchev. “And this can save you up to 25 percent of your electricity bill.”

Lyubomir is already working on a new product to be launched in the autumn. It’s something that investors are already interested in. He has already managed to raise 600,000 euros, one third through the European Commission’s JEREMIE programme.

“We have been actively selling Melissa for just two months and we are already in 13 countries with more than 8,000 orders,” muses Yanchev. “Even our investors are surprised!”

eSkills for Jobs Competitions

So there we have an example, Vassela. The “eSkills for Jobs“http://eskills4jobs.ec.europa.eu/ campaign started last year and continues until the end of this year.You’ve already seen excellent results!

Vessela: “Absolutely, up to now more than 800 events have been organised with more than 300, 000 participants.

For instance, students go to the companies, managers of the companies go to colleges.

And every year, there is a competition as part of this campaign. It is open to all young Europeans.

Serge: “So Vessela, a small question to finish. Is it still possible for a young person, like Lyubomir, to take part in the eSkills competition for jobs?

Vessela: “There are three categories – Young Digital Talent, Outstanding Digital Skills Developer and Innovative App Developer.

Entries must be submitted before the end of July.

Serge: “Thanks Vassela. More on our website. See you soon on Business Planet.”

eSkills for Jobs

  • All jobs now require at least a basic understanding of information and communication technology (ICT). Yet, one third of all citizens in the EU have no or low digital skills.
  • Many companies face a critical shortfall in ICT workers. Europe may experience a shortage of up to 756,000 ICT professionals by 2020, putting at risk growth, jobs and competitiveness.
  • The eSkills for Jobs campaign aims to raise awareness on the benefits of digital education, jobs and careers and the need for all citizens to improve their command of digital skills.
  • Lyubomir Yanchev is a Bulgarian entrepreneur who directly benefitted from the eSkills for Jobs campaign.

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