The European ministers responsible for research agreed that the EU must increase its efforts to ensure a better qualified workforce, to have more motivated and highly skilled researchers and to cultivate the entrepreneurial spirit.
In total, there are around 2 million job vacancies across the EU, despite high levels of unemployment. In addition to the ICT sector, European labour market needs biologists, pharmacologists, medical doctors, nurses and engineers. Europe also needs 800.000 researchers.
Giving an analytical overview on skills for science and innovation, professor Marijk van der Wende of Amsterdam University College noted that students continue to choose high unemployment fields. According to the analyst, the right mix of skills should combine STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and 21st century skills: creativity and innovation, critical thinking, problem solving, communication, collaboration, information, IT, and media literacy, social and cross-cultural skills, leadership and responsibility.
EU research ministers agreed that in the field of science and innovation one of the major challenges for Europe is to provide a more attractive environment for creative and innovative researchers and making European researchers more mobile.