[Athens, Greece] Huawei held the 2nd European Talent Summit last Friday in Athens to celebrate the achievements of its talent cultivation programs during the year. Themed “Creating a Sustainable Future for European Talent Together,” this year’s event gathered 80 outstanding students and 100 representatives from the governments, international organizations, industry, and academia from around Europe to explore solutions to the shortage of ICT professionals, promote digital literacy and skills to bridge the digital divide, and build up an open and sustainable talent ecosystem.
Radoslaw Kedzia, Vice President of Huawei’s CEE & Nordic Region, said in his keynote: “Talent is essential for Europe to pursue its initiatives like digitalization and sustainable development. This is why we need to come together and build an open talent ecosystem for shared success. Huawei has always attached great importance to talent cultivation, and it has been one of our top priorities in Europe. Over the past decade, we have trained more than thirty thousand ICT professionals in this region.”
Kedzia launched the Bright Star program at the event which aims to recruit 100 university interns in Europe every year. Over the coming three years, Huawei plans to recruit 600 fresh graduates from European universities.
“It is estimated that in Europe, about 20% of adults lack basic digital skills. Talented Youth can contribute to closing the gap not only by expanding and adopting opportunities offered by new and smart technologies, but also by working with the older generation in shaping the digital future,” said David Atchoarena, Director of UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning.
Huawei supports establishing an open talent ecosystem through a series of talent cultivation programs. The company has so far opened more than 200 ICT Academies in Europe focusing on vocational certifications. They have certified nearly 16,000 European students. Huawei introduced the Seeds for the Future program in Europe in 2011 and has trained over 3,500 students.
Women are particularly underrepresented in the digital workforce. “There are obvious obstacles that hinder the opportunities of women to reach higher positions in their academic and professional careers,” said Elissavet Vozemberg, Member of the European Parliament, Vice Chair of the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality.
Huawei advocates for the equality of female talent and works to promote women’s participation in the ICT industry. At the summit, Huawei in cooperation with Manpower Employment Organization and the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs of Greece launched the Women in Tech program to provide basic ICT skills training to 500 unemployed women in Greece.
A white paper on intergenerational collaboration and digitalization was released during the summit.
“Age diversity is an overlooked asset of European workplaces,” said Professor Dr. Anna Schneider of Hochschule Fresenius University of Applied Sciences. “Our survey results underline the importance of intergenerational knowledge exchange in particular for digital skills. About a third of workers aged 55 and above have learned digital skills from a colleague at least ten years younger in the past month.”
Professor Schneider further underscored the need to step up digitalization: “The more digitalized the company the more knowledge exchange is happening across the board.”
In parallel to the Summit, a two-day workshop was organized for the Tech4Good competition with participants from all over Europe.
Adonis Georgiadis, Minister of Development and Investment of Greece kicked off the workshop: “Talented young students from European countries were invited to spend a few days in Greece. Here they were caught in the secrets of the high-end business and received awards for their studies.”