The Importance of Digital and Language Skills for Jobseekers

Mar 27, 2022  •  6 min read

The International Labour Organization (2019) acknowledges that unemployment affects 67.6 million young women and men and 13.6% of the youth labour force in the world. Skills mismatch is one of the critical reasons for the increasing unemployment in the labour market. According to the Recruiter Sentiment Study by MRI Network (2017), Employees do not meet the expected qualifications in most business sectors, and 63% of recruiters think skills shortage is their most significant problem.

The research conducted by WorldSkills UK (2021) reported that 92% of employees say that having a basic level of digital skills is essential for their business. On the other hand, the European Court of Auditors’ report (2019) reveals that 35% of the EU labour force representing more than 75 million people, did not have at least basic digital skills.

Also, the thematic working group Languages for Jobs (2020) reported that employers consider language skills as one of the ten most important skills for future graduates. Although the Economist Intelligence Unit reports that the proportion of 18-25 years olds whose education does not include foreign language skills is 49%. According to these research findings, young graduates’ language and digital skills are missing or inadequate because the economic possibilities of young graduates are insufficient to go to paid courses.

Despite these facts, the students cannot go to paid courses for obtaining these skills due to economic hardship. According to another research conducted by the Eurostudent in 10 European countries, more than a third of students report having severe financial difficulties, and free skills courses were not adequate for them. For instance, the Open University, the largest public research university in the UK, provides only around 5% of its formal course materials as free open educational content every year on OpenLearn.


European Court of Auditors. (2021). ESF support to combat long-term unemployment: Measures need to be better targeted, tailored, and monitored. European Court of Auditors

Eurostudent. (2015). Social and Economic Conditions of Student Life in Europe. Eurostudent

International Labour Organization. (2020). Global Employment Trends for Youth 2020: Technology and the future of jobs. ILO.—dgreports/—dcomm/—publ/documents/publication/wcms_737648.pdf

Mri Network. (2017). Recruiter Sentiment Study with Insights from Employers and Candidates. Mri Network

OMC Group “Languages for jobs”. (2020). Providing multilingual communication skills for the labour market. OMC Group

Open University. (2022, February 4). Wikipedia.