Is an economy based on IT our true calling?

Is an economy based on IT our true calling? It certainly is for Estonia, and they have companies like Skype to thank. We visited the head office for Skype, the world’s leading Internet-based communications service. Skype started with a team of 10 that now numbers 1,000 world-wide. Skype executives wanted to grow their employee base in Estonia, but the country didn’t have enough people with the right training. As a result, Skype now works closely with the schools and universities to grow the local labour supply. They work with the universities on increasing the number of students in computer science programs, and are involved with improving and modifying the curriculum for changing needs in the job market. They also work with Estonian primary and secondary schools. They recently partnered with Microsoft on a workshop for high school girls, who learned about IT opportunities and took part in a competition to build robots. We learned that the private sector must lead the way in developing the workforce of the future.

Discussion participants:

David Alston and René Boudreau, New Brunswick delegation representatives
Mr. Marek Unt, Skype Technologies OÜ
Mrs. Kairi-Liis Ustav

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