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Fujitsu exposes Eastern talent pool

Solving skills crisis by moving Europe eastwards

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CeBIT 2005 The tearing down of the Iron Curtain has exposed a wealth of tech talent that will help Europe avoid the kind of skills dearth currently giving US IT execs sleepless nights, Fujitsu Siemens’ CTO said today.

In recent weeks Intel’s Craig Barrett and EMC’s Joe Tucci have bemoaned the lack of native engineering talent coming through the US education system, which coincides with a drop in the number of bright foreigners coming to study in the US. Barrett and Tucci both fear that, as its tech talent pool evaporates, the US could lose its tech and science predominance.

Asked if Europe faced a similar skills crisis, Fujitsu CTO Joseph Reger said the answer depended on how you defined Europe. If you counted everything between Rekjavik and Vladivostock, then Europe was in a good position, he said.

“Having torn down the Iron Curtain, we have a huge pool of talent in the East we can use,” he added.

Western Europeans were probably less focused on sciences, and young people there are more likely to focus on areas such as law or economics. "It’s a mindset issue," said Reger.

Conversely, Eastern Europeans had had a “traditional” education with a good grounding in basic sciences. “There is an imbalance [that] could be turned into an advantage for Europe,” Reger concluded. ®

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