The Skills Mismatch: the digital skills employers are looking for

International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and International Labour Organization (ILO)

session 111 organizer(s) logo

Session 111

15:00–16:30, Wednesday, 21 March 2018 Room 1, CICG Captioning Interpretation: EN/FR/AR/ZH/ES/RU High-Level Dialogue Speakers/Panellists  Link to WSIS Action Lines  Link to SDGs  Summary Document  Documents 

Session Recordings

Virtual Meeting Room Recordings   Part 1   |  Part 2 Webcast

Share on:  Facebook  Twitter  Twitter

In the face of the global youth employment crisis, with 71 million young people out of work and another 153 million working but living in poverty, millions of jobs requiring advanced digital skills go unfilled because employers say they can’t find candidates with the skills they need. There is a mismatch between how institutions of learning prepare their students and the skills demanded in the labour market. This session will gather private sector companies who will share with the audience their views on the digital skills required in the digital economy. Young people preparing for careers requiring digital skills, ITU Academic members and other digital skills training providers are encouraged to attend for an interactive session to identify current and future needs for digital skills.

ITU and ILO launched the Digital Skills for Decent Jobs for Youth campaign at the WSIS Forum 2017. The Campaign, a key element of the “Decent Jobs for Youth” global initiative seeks to incentivize a range of stakeholders to train young people with job-ready digital skills. Since the last WSIS Forum, a number of stakeholders have made commitments to train young people. This session will not only be useful to guide young people, universities and training providers, it will further offer guidance for the Digital Skills for Decent Jobs for Youth campaign.


Susan Schorr, Head Digital Inclusion Division, ITU and Susana Puerto, Senior Youth Employment Specialist, ILO


  • Yushi Torigoe, Deputy Director, ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau 
  • Ms. Miho Naganuma, Manager, Regulatory Research Office, Corporate Technology Division, NEC Corporation
  • Mr. Pierre Mirlesse, Vice President, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Hewlett Packard
  • Mr. Joakim Slorstad, Senior Vice President, Learning & Development, Telenor Group
  • Ms. Elizabeth Thomas-Raynaud, Senior Policy Executive, Digital Economy and Director, BASIS, International Chamber of Commerce

Session's link to WSIS Action Lines

  • AL C4 logo C4. Capacity building
  • AL C7 e-Emp logo C7. ICT Applications: E-employment

In line with WSIS Action Line 4, the discussion aims to increase the effectiveness of education and training systems by analyzing the skills needed in the digital economy. As outlined in WSIS Action Line 4, capacity building and ICT literacy are essential if we want everyone to benefit from the Information Society. In order for these capacity building activities to be effective it is essential to understand what kinds of profiles and skills employers are looking for to make sure young people are equipped with the relevant skills for the current labour market.
The increased presence of ICTs in work environments is also intended as a means to achieve more sustainable environments for workers, foster job creation and address the current youth employment crisis, in line with WSIS Action Line 7.

Session's link to Sustainable Development Process

  • Goal 4: Quality education logo Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
  • Goal 5: Gender equality logo Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
  • Goal 8: Decent work and economic growth logo Goal 8: Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all

Digital skills (advanced, mid-level, basic, entrepreneurship and soft skills) are increasingly needed for nearly all jobs and professional careers. Understanding the skills demanded in the labour market is thus essential to ensure young women and men are equipped with relevant, transferable, job-relevant digital skills. This is in line with SDG 4.3 which calls for equal access for women and men to affordable and relevant education and SDG 4.4 which calls for increasing the number of youth and adults with relevant skills for employment.
SDGs 5.5 and 5.b are addressed through guiding young people, universities and training providers on the skills needed to ensure young women and men alike can pursue successful professional careers in the digital economy.
Considering the number and quality of jobs available for young people with digital skills, the discussion will provide a better understanding of the digital skills demanded in the digital economy thus addressing the current youth employment crisis in line with SDGs 8.5 and 8.6.