A major new European initiative aim at addressing the predicted 900,000 ICT job vacancies by 2015 is being jointly launched today by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton.

Among the new initiatives are improved training and skills matching led by Europe's top ICT companies, as well as a common EU certification system for ICT skills and assistance services.

Funding will also be available to enable ICT workers to move within the EU to areas where demand for their skills is highest.

Companies taking part in the initiative include Google, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, SAP and Cisco Systems. 

It will run for an initial term of 2013 to 2015.

The Minister was joined by European Commissioner President Jose Manuel Barroso and Commissioners Neelie Kroes, Laszlo Andor and Androulla Vassiliou at the launch of the new ''Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs Plan''.

''The Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs is a hugely important initiative. Job creation and economic growth are at its core,'' the Minister said today. ''Reflecting our domestic priorities, job creation in Europe is a top priority of the Irish Presidency of the Council of the EU''.

The Minister said that ICT is one of the key engines of economic growth and the better use of ICT will be critical to enhanced European competitiveness, growth and jobs.

He noted that the number of ICT graduates in Europe has fallen from 127,000 in 2006 to 114,000 in 2010.

''We can not afford to allow European labour markets to fall behind in this way and lose job opportunities in favour of other regions of the world. The time for action is now,'' Mr Bruton stated.