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Fighting Europe's e-Skills crises: Exceptional girls in IT win education grants at European e-skills week event

March 30th

Copenhagen, March 30th 2012: In as little as three years over half a million new ICT job opportunities could be created in Europe but there will simply not be enough IT professionals with the right skills to fill such jobs[1]. The European economy urgently needs e-skilled human capital to drive its recovery, yet less than one fifth of IT practitioners are women in Europe today[2]. It is vital that young women are inspired and encouraged to take advantage of the opportunities that ICT education and careers can provide. The winners of the European e-Skills Week award for girls in IT are excellent role models to provide this inspiration.

For the second time, CEPIS, the Council of European Professional Informatics Societies, has sponsored the girls in ICT competition of European e-Skills Week. Today in Copenhagen, CEPIS rewarded the winning entries of top national-level competitions in Greece and the Czech Republic with education grants worth €3000 and €1500 respectively.

The Girls in IT Award was won by a team of three young Greek girls who successfully collaborated to create a recycling robot ‘Beatbot Robotics’! From the Czech Republic, Sarka Vávrová was awarded the runner up prize for her entry ‘Electronic Timekeeper’. Both entries have shown remarkable skills and a flair for innovation in ICT; most importantly these young girls are exceptional role models for their peers and with the CEPIS education grant we hope to encourage them to take up ICT as a career and further education.

With the demand for ICT personnel with the right skills set to increase in the future, CEPIS is committed to promoting gender equality in the ICT sector, and to encouraging and stimulating the interest of all young people, including girls, to engage in ICT-related studies and subsequent careers. CEPIS works in conjunction with the European Centre for Women and Technology[3] and other partners to ensure that women are encouraged to become a positive force and active influence in the ICT sector.

About CEPIS

The Council of European Professional Informatics Societies (CEPIS) is a non-profit organisation seeking to improve and promote a high standard among informatics professionals in recognition of the impact that informatics has on employment, business and society. CEPIS is comprised of 35 national informatics associations representing over 350,000 informatics professionals from 32 countries across greater Europe. For more information visit: www.cepis.org

About European e-Skills Week 2012

European e-Skills Week 2012 highlights the continuing demand for skilled ICT users and professionals to drive a competitive and innovative Europe. This exciting campaign seeks to inform students, young professionals and SMEs about the range of opportunities that ICT-related jobs present. The initiative is led by the European Commission’s DG Enterprise and Industry and is coordinated by DIGITALEUROPE and European Schoolnet, in conjunction with twenty-four national partners and stakeholders.

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