Winter School of the European Leadership Academy is now welcoming applications

Helsinki, December 10, 2021

More than 80 students, together with representatives from startups, NGOs, consultancies and universities from around Europe gathered in Helsinki, Finland today for the Huawei Talent Summit – a year-end celebration of their achievements in Huawei’s talent cultivation programs. Solving future challenges such as the digital skills gap, shortage of ICT Talent, equality and sustainability were in focus during the seminar.

The welcome speech was delivered by Sirpa Pietikäinen, Member of European Parliament. She encouraged the young talents to be innovative and open, to respect different background and genders, and to embrace connectivity: “We can build connectivity for good, and make this connectivity to be the possibility to work with others. Together with all of us good willing people across the world, indeed we can create a better and a bright future.”

Some key findings of the Huawei and EY joint White Paper on Digital Skills are released during the summit. According to Luca Marcolin, Senior Consultant of EY, the fast-growing demand for digital skills is outpacing supply at an increasingly rapid pace. And there is a severe shortage of ICT talent in the EU: “For example, in 2021, Finland ranked first for digital skills human capital among the EU member states in the Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI), cementing its role as a European digital leader. The proportion of ICT graduates in Finland is almost double the EU average, and almost twice as many enterprises provide ICT training. This is insufficient, however, as 59 % of companies trying to recruit ICT specialists report hard-to-fill vacancies”, according to Luca Marcolin.

That is why Huawei is committed to developing ICT and digital talent in every country where it operates. In 2008, Huawei began launching different talent development programs, including scholarships, technology competitions, and digital skills training. Since then, Huawei has invested over 130 million euros into these programs, benefiting more than 1.54 million people from over 150 countries globally.

“Huawei stands ready to work with European partners to develop top digital talent and bridge the digital divide,” said Kenneth Fredriksen, Vice President of Huawei CEE&Nordic Region. “In Europe, Huawei has launched numerous programs, such as Seeds for the Future, ICT Academy and European University Challenge, to establish a talent development ecosystem with academia. And Huawei has committed to investing 2.5 million euros in the Seeds for the Future Scholarship that will be granted to talented students in Europe for ICT up-skilling”, underlined Kenneth Fredriksen. He also explained how through these programs Huawei “will be striving to cooperate with the top universities in Europe to enhance the abilities and potential of the next generation of European innovators.”

SMEs and big enterprises could join hands to build a better future

Digitalization also means great opportunities for SMEs. They are the biggest innovators of our time. Huawei has held startup competitions in a number of European countries to discover great ideas for society. Huawei also provides technology and funding to startups, and promotes the development of innovation ecosystems.

A panel of founders of the startups which are using their ideas to change the world discussed at the Talent Summit how SMEs and big enterprises should join hands to achieve their mutual goals, such as bridging the digital divide and building a more sustainable future. Yesika Aguilera, Forbes 30 Under 30, co-founder at Tespack & Clocky App, said: “I am really happy to see companies like Huawei trying to involve and empower startups and the youth to make a positive impact and be part of the solution. The agility and new innovation perspectives of startups and the youth go hand in hand with the experience, capital and know-how of large enterprises.”

ICT skills allow women to catch up in the digital age

Women are particularly underrepresented in the digital workforce, with over 80% of ICT specialists employed across the EU being male. Despite differences across countries, only 17% of tech specialists are women on average, and only 22% of AI professionals worldwide are female. In a panel of the summit discussing how to tackle this issue, Dora Palfi, Co-founder and CEO of imagiLabs said: “While it might take years to see significant changes in the gender ratio in the industry, there already are incredibly successful women and women leaders in the industry. Highlighting their examples as role models has the potential to accelerate change.”

Huawei has launched a series of initiatives to promote gender equality and more women taking part in the digital future. Huawei initiated a series of “Women In Technology” activities across Europe to help women’s voices be heard in the technology sector. In 2021 Huawei officially launched its HUAWEI Women Developers (HWD) program, aiming to empower women developers to create brilliant applications and tools.

Training programs have impacted students’ views on sustainability

Huawei always values our planet. Besides continuing to provide green 5G technology and solar power systems, Huawei is working together with partners in Europe to reduce carbon emission, and achieve the goal of carbon-neutrality by 2050. Through ICT training courses, young talents have learned how technology would make the world a better place. Eight Seeds for the Future alumni took the stage for a discussion on how their studies have impacted their views on sustainability, and what technology can do for the future. The group unanimously praised the Seeds for the Future program and hoped to get more support from ICT companies like Huawei to stay inspired and innovative.

Winter School of the European Leadership Academy ins ow welcoming applications

One concrete initiative supporting young, female talent striving to shape Europe’s tech revolution is the School for Female Leadership in the Digital Age. Applications for the next upcoming edition to be held at the end of February in Nice are open until 3rd January 2022. An independent jury will select 27 participants for this week-long free scholarship programme of masterclasses, team projects, active learning and cultural experiences. Berta Herrero, Programme Director of the School for Female Leadership in the Digital Age, said: “Making sure diversity actually exists in the development of technologies is the first step to building a truly equal, inclusive world. To overcome biases, women must be able to shape and lead the tech revolution. Our curriculum equips young women with the tools needed to be the leaders of Europe’s digital transition.”


Huawei is a leading global provider of information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure and smart devices. With integrated solutions across four key domains – telecom networks, IT, smart devices, and cloud services – Huawei is  committed to bringing digital to every person, home and organization for a fully connected, intelligent world.

Huawei’s end-to-end portfolio of products, solutions and services are both competitive and secure. Through open collaboration with ecosystem partners, Huawei  creates lasting value for customers, working to empower people, enrich home life, and inspire innovation in organizations of all shapes and sizes. At Huawei, innovation focuses on customer needs. Huawei  invests heavily in basic research, concentrating on technological breakthroughs that drive the world forward.  Huawei has 194 000 employees, and operates in more than 170 countries and regions. Founded in 1987, Huawei is a private company fully owned by its employees. For more information, please visit

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