Technological change alters the skill requirements of the labour market. Computers and advanced machinery, for example, can more easily replace workers employed in jobs which involve very intensive routine tasks, either manual or cognitive. These tasks can be easily programmed and executed by machines. ICT development and digitalisation may therefore favour the highly skilled, and have a negative impact on those with lower and intermediate levels of skills in routine tasks.
In the near future nearly all jobs will require some level of digital skills, and some will require very high levels of professional ICT skills. New ways of working, including more independent and contract-based work, and more
frequent job changes will call for skills that can be used by individuals in different contexts.
38% of companies that recruited or tried to recruit ICT specialists in 2014 reported difficulties in filling vacancies. According to the PISA survey, around 20% of 15-year-olds in the EU have low reading and numeracy skills. And according to PIAAC, 20% of adults have low literacy skills while 24% have low numeracy skills. Less than a quarter of students have had an entrepreneurship experience by the time they finish school.