The 1st European Business-Education Summit on 23 November concluded the European Pact for Youth.
Co-hosted by the European Commission and CSR Europe, of which Huawei is a member, the Summit on 23 November gathered representatives of the EU, the business community, youth and education to discuss the results of the Pact.
The Pact was launched in November 2015 with the intention of making business-education partnerships “the new norm” and vocational education and training and apprenticeships an equal choice for youth.
Speakers at the summit included European Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis and Commissioner Marianne Thyssen, European Parliament President Antonio Tajani and Etienne Davignon, President of CSR Europe.
Gaston Khoury, Huawei’s Western European Regional Sales Vice-President, addressed the final session of the Summit, “Better Education, Better Business”, along with two students, Alessandro Gattolin and Lindsay Kempen, who benefited from Huawei’s Seeds for the Future scholarship programme, which involves a two-week study trip to China.
Mismatch between curricula and industry needs
“As technology advances relentlessly in our lives, and phenomena such as the Internet of Things come to the fore, businesses need students to be prepared for the new jobs and opportunities the future will offer, many of which are still unknown today,” said Mr Khoury. “Given the current mismatch between curricula and industry needs, Europe is in dire need of initiatives such as those federated by the Pact for Youth.”
Alessandro, from Italy, now a Huawei employee, told the Summit: “Initiatives like Seeds for the Future can benefit both students and companies in the short and long term, because I think we must cultivate digital talent and develop a digital mind set in order to create what we all want to achieve together – which is a thriving digital Europe.”
Lindsay, from the Netherlands, said to the participants: “I am very glad to have had the experiences Huawei provided me. Cultural business programmes are a great addition to one’s education. However, there are more gaps to be filled.”
Alessandro and Lindsay formed part of a group of 32 Seeds students from 15 EU member states that earlier in the day visited the European Commission and European Parliament, meeting and engaging with MEPs from their own countries.
Over 1 600 young Europeans from 32 countries have participated in Seeds for the Future since its launch in Europe in 2011. More than 2 000 will have been trained by Huawei by 2020.