According to the recent “Be The Change” study carried out by Agoria, the transition to the digital economy has the potential to create over 200,000 jobs in Belgium alone by 2030. Great news - but these positions will still need to be filled, and the same study concluded that over half a million vacancies will be open in 2030 as a result of the gap between the skills needed and talent available. The question of how to bridge this gap is at the top of the agenda in politics, business and civil society, and the general consensus is that government alone cannot be the sole actor responsible for meeting the challenges ahead.
We all agree that Belgium has the potential to build on its strong points: a solid industrial base, strengths in R&D and innovation, a central location in Europe and a talent pool which is both broad and deep. That said, by the middle of this decade as many as 4.5 million Belgians - more than one third of the population! - face the challenge of acquiring new skills to stay relevant in a labour market already under strain from the rapid digitalisation of our society. Solutions to this enormous upskilling challenge need to be developed involving all stakeholders; no single organisation can do this alone.
BecomeDigital.be offers a strong response to these challenges, with several leading organisations pooling their expertise in partnership with local training providers to create a platform that will support people and employers in Belgium in their efforts to continuously upgrade their skills and keep pace with the ever accelerating evolution of the digital economy. The cornerstone of this initiative is the belief that everyone needs the necessary skills to play a meaningful role in the digital economy, and that lifelong learning is the path to a strong position in the labour market.
At PwC, we want to help ensure that digital transformation is accelerated in a thoughtful way so that it has a positive impact in our society. We’re proud to be able to contribute to the Become Digital platform by helping map out the path to bridge the gap between current skill levels in the talent pool in Belgium and the skills needed to keep our country resilient, sustainable, competitive and inclusive in future.
As one of the founding partners, our goal is to use our long standing expertise and central position within the economic landscape of Belgium to help create a platform that enables innovation, engagement and upskilling. As a true people business, we feel we can make a significant contribution to building an environment in which individual users can boost their skills, in a manner which corresponds to the changing needs of organisations, both large and small. As a country we’re justifiably ambitious about our collective digital future; Become Digital offers all of us a way to pull together in the same direction to get there.
Jochen Vincke, Partner, PwC Belgium