Microsoft and a Group of Leading European IT Companies Hosts Summit Meeting on European High-Tech Employment and Training

BRUSSELS, Belgium, September 21, 1998 — Microsoft and several other leading information technology companies will host a summit meeting here this week for European policy makers, industry executives and government officials to examine the state of high-tech employment and training throughout Europe.

The summit is expected to focus on a new report by International Data Corporation (IDC) on the growing technology skills gap in Europe and its effect on the economy. Europe’s successful information technology (IT) industry accounts for hundreds of thousands of jobs and continues to grow rapidly, but there is a severe shortage of skilled workers to fill those jobs even though high unemployment continues to be a serious problem in many European countries. The IDC report will be unveiled for the first time at the summit meeting.

The summit meeting is expected to result in a “call to action” outlining the steps that must be taken to close the IT skills gap in Europe. Other companies co-sponsoring the event with Microsoft include Baan, SAP, Wang, Cap Gemini, Exact Software, ICL, Sage, and Lernout & Hauspie. Speakers include: Jacques Santer, president of the European Commission; Martin Bangemann, European Commissioner for Information Technologies; Padraig Flynn, European Commissioner for Employment; Bill Kamela, chief of staff, U.S. Department of Labor; Puni Rajah, director of services research, International Data Corporation; Jos Peeters; managing director, Capricorn Venture Partners and co-founder, EASDAQ; and Bernard Vergnes, chairman of Microsoft EMEA.

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