MAR 13, 2019 | FRANCE
BSA Releases Policy Agenda to Build Tomorrow’s Workforce in France
PARIS – March 13, 2019 – Jobs in software development, computer programming, and cybersecurity are growing fast: Only in 2017, the software industry created more than 28.000 jobs in France and by 2022, IT engineers will be in the top 20 job that will generate the highest demand in France*. These jobs are growing, though, faster than France can fill them; there are estimates that by 2020, more than 80,000 jobs in information and communication technology will remain unfulfilled**.
Moreover, software jobs comprise far more than coding and programming. According to a recent study from Software.org: the BSA Foundation, software is a powerful job creator in France, supporting more than 1.2 million jobs. From the farmer who monitors crops from the touch of a tablet, to the nurse who can see and talk to a patient via video from hundreds of miles away, to the mechanic who uses advanced diagnostics tools to identify and repair car problems, software has transformed nearly every French industry.
This transformation has resulted in the need for new skill sets among French workers. Both the government and the private sector have important roles to play in implementing policies that will prepare today’s workers and the next generation for the jobs software creates. To help workers transition smoothly into the workforce demands of the new digital economy, BSA | The Software Alliance has released A Policy Agenda to Build Tomorrow’s Workforce in France [also in French].
“Nearly every sector of the French economy relies on software to succeed,” Thomas Boué, BSA Director General, Policy – EMEA. “France needs to strengthen its workforce to transition smoothly into the demands of the digital economy and stay competitive. We must help create and reach out to a wider pool of talented workers through STEM education, retraining but also by creating alternative pathways to the evolving workforce”.
BSA’s agenda offers four areas where the government and industry can work together to:
- Improve access to STEM education. Making STEM education inclusive and widely available builds interest in developing in-demand skills and helps prepare the future workforce. We should focus on promoting STEM education in primary and secondary schools, encouraging greater diversity, broadening exposure, and aligning STEM curricula to real-world demands.
- Expand workforce retraining. In addition to preparing the next generation workforce, we must ensure the current workforce has access to the skills needed as the job market evolves. We should focus on investing in mid-career training in high-demand tech skills to provide workers with high-demand cybersecurity and IT skills, helping match qualified workers to growing occupational fields.
- Create alternative pathways to the evolving workforce. In the new economy, technical schools, apprenticeships, boot camps, and other alternative pathways may be just as effective as traditional classrooms. We should focus on strengthening apprenticeship programs, expanding technical higher education, and mainstreaming boot camps, online courses, and other models.
- Broaden access to technology. Technology enables the creation of jobs and economic growth in all industries and in all parts of France. We should focus on achieving very high-speed broadband access throughout the French territory and ensuring equitable access to technology in the classroom.
*According to France Strategie
**Figures from Empirica