Telefonica last week outlined targets covering digital skills training for over 300,000 young people, and the formation of 1,000 startup companies in Europe over the next three years.
The telco plans to use its Wayra Academies in the region to create the new businesses, will create a community of 300,000 young people, enroll 50,000 in a coding and robotics school, and aid 5,000 young people and graduates into work. The Spanish incumbent revealed its goals while signing up to the Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs, a European Commission initiative led by Digital Agenda commissioner Neelie Kroes.
Speaking at the World Economic Forum, Telefonica chief, José María Álvarez-Pallete, said a lack of skills is hindering the transition to a knowledge-based economy and “negatively impacting growth, competitiveness, innovation and employment in Europe.”
Álvarez-Pallete added that the technology industry should play an active part in “addressing issues in the society in which they operate,” and also in the EC initiative. “The private sector has a critical role to play and we will be working actively to build a real momentum across Europe.”
Separately, Telefonica is appealing an EC fine over its acquisition of Portugal Telecom’s stake in Brazilian mobile operator Vivo in 2010.
The EC issued the fine last week over a deleted clause in the sale agreement that Telefonica claims was dropped because it was inapplicable.