Telenet, together with KU Leuven, VUB, ULB and the BeCode programming school, is setting up an ‘Academy for Digital & Data Talent’ to strengthen the digital knowledge and technical skills of their employees through initial training, upskilling as well as reskilling. By sharing knowledge and practical examples with the three universities and BeCode, the telecom company also aims to attract new, young talented individuals and prepare them for a career. By doing so, the various parties involved hope to join forces in providing a concrete answer to the challenges of digitization by countering the shortage of workers with a technical background. Telenet will invest four million euros in the initiative over the next five years. The academy is founded on a shared vision that lifelong learning is a prerequisite if you wish to remain agile in a rapidly changing digital economy.

The number of job vacancies for engineers and IT and data specialists is immense, but the supply does not meet the demand. The number of graduates from scientific, technical, technological and mathematical disciplines in all Belgian regions is far below par at 1.6%. We rank only 26th on a European scale for ICT graduates (DESI 2019).

By 2030, it is anticipated that one in ten vacancies (i.e. 584,000 jobs) in Belgium will not be filled due to a shortage of employees with the relevant skills, primarily in the field of technology (Agoria 2018). According to the World Economic Forum, 54% of all employees will also need to be receive training in the field of digital technology by 2022.

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