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The Future is Now (Chinn et al.)

The future is now: Closing the skills gap in Europe’s public sector by David Chinn, Solveigh Hieronimus, Julian Kirchherr, and Julia Klier published by McKinsey & Company (4/2020).


“As the need for digital government capabilities increases during the COVID-19 pandemic, the European public sector can close the skills gap by focusing on three areas.

The advance of digital technologies and especially artificial intelligence (AI) presents the European Union and the United Kingdom (the EU-28) with enormous opportunities for growth. A study by the McKinsey Global Institute shows that if digitally lagging sectors—such as manufacturing, mining, healthcare, and education—double their use of digital assets and increase the digitization of labor, the EU-28 could add €2.5 trillion to its GDP by 2025, boosting GDP growth by 1 percent per year until then.¹ In its 2020 European Digital Strategy, the European Commission is attempting to realize this potential through measures such as increasing investments in AI development to more than €20 billion per year through 2030, compared with €3.2 billion in 2016. The advance of digital technologies has raised European businesses’ and citizens’ expectations regarding improvements in smart regulation and citizen experience—for instance, through the digital delivery of public services—as well increased funding for technological development. Today, the COVID-19 outbreak is not only intensifying the need for the digitization of a wide range of administrative services (such as unemployment benefits), but it is also making digital skills a prerequisite for employees to successfully work from home. While the pandemic poses immense challenges, the current crisis is also an impetus for governments across the EU-28 to accelerate and deliver on their digital ambitions…”

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