Brussels (ots/PRNewswire) -
European Industry Leaders Look to Closer Collaboration Between
Business And Schools
Increasing young people's interest in Mathematics, Science and
Technology (MST) is essential for sustainable economic growth and
competitiveness in Europe, according to the European Round Table of
Industrialists (ERT), a group of 45 industrial leaders from across
Europe. ERT has identified this issue as a key priority for European
industry. To discuss this issue aimed at tackling a potential
shortfall in MST trained people in Europe, ERT organised a high-level
multi-stakeholder event(1) for academia, business, government and the
teaching profession to explore ways of developing a shared approach
for the promotion of MST across Europe's schools from as early as
primary school level.
ERT Chairman Jorma Ollila, Chairman of Shell and Nokia, stated
that "Companies of ERT members sustain around 6.6 million jobs in the
region and our industries are highly dependent on access to a skilled
MST workforce. MST is the basis for innovation and competitiveness
which is essential for sustainable economic growth and welfare in
"With a declining student proportion in MST, a stabilisation of
access to tertiary education, unfavourable demographic trends and
negative attitudes towards education and careers in MST it is evident
that stakeholders need to act."
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso supported the
initiative, saying "Europe needs more highly skilled, qualified and
motivated individuals to push back the technological frontiers, in
order to improve economic growth and employment. Your analysis on the
need to promote MST in our schools and universities is spot-on. And
so is your solution. The European Commission has been calling for
more partnership between education and business for some time.
Together let us show the way ahead."
ERT Vice Chairman, Leif Johansson, CEO Volvo Group commented that
"ERT member companies are determined to strengthen long term
commitments to supporting Europe's schools, teachers and
universities. Support must be able to survive the economic cycle.
Today's event has reinforced our belief that businesses have an
important role to play. Businesses need to work closely with schools
to put MST into meaningful life and career contexts, provide access
to role models and keep teachers informed of what MST careers are."
Facilitating stakeholders at the event included representatives
from the European Commission, European Schoolnet, European Industrial
Research Management Association (EIRMA), Junior Achievement Young
Enterprise (JA-YE) and Jet-Net. The breakout discussions confirmed
ERT's belief that existing and future collaboration needs to be
better coordinated in order to leverage full potential and inspire
future generations of MST students.
Jorma Ollila concluded that "We believe that this event has
provided us with a mandate to take immediate steps in this
ERT will step up work with a broad range of stakeholders to
develop a schools and business collaboration with the long-term aim
of ensuring Europe has the right skills to thrive.
Note to Editors:
The European Round Table of Industrialists (ERT) is a forum of 45
leaders of major companies of European parentage. These companies are
drawn from a wide range of industry sectors from 18 European
countries, and have a combined turnover of EUR1,600 billion,
employing around 4.5 million people worldwide. ERT's "core" mission
is to promote the competitiveness of European industry. It expresses
views on those areas most connected to its own expertise, chiefly
major developments which may affect the conditions essential to
providing the proper environment conducive to successful business
ERT Chairman: Jorma Ollila
Jorma Ollila is currently the Chairman of Royal Dutch Shell plc
and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Nokia Corporation since
2006. Prior to his current duties he served as Chairman and CEO of
Nokia from 1999 until May 2006.
(1): Event entitled: "Inspiring the Next Generation: How to
harness the potential of Mathematics, Science and Technology to drive
Innovation and Competitiveness in Europe"
ots Originaltext: European Round Table of Industrialists (ERT)
Im Internet recherchierbar: http://www.presseportal.ch
Contact: Wim Philippa, ERT Secretariat, Tel: +32-2-534-31-00, E-mail: