Building Digital Competencies for a Digital Society
Digital competencies are the cornerstone of a Digital Society
Becoming a digital society does not happen overnight by turning on servers or installing wi-fi in homes. A foundational element is the systematic development of digital competencies over a period of time. Digital competencies mean not only building a team of IT specialists, but also engendering widespread digital skills across the nations’ citizens. This in turn requires digital education at many levels: university, gymnasiums, basic schools, as well as specialize training for ICT professionals. The end result is a comprehensive digital skills development system across all sectors of the nation: government, education, business and private sector.
An important element is Estonia’s success as a digital nation was its commitment to the development of comprehensive ICT competence. Starting with a private sector training initiative called “Look at World”, 107 000 people, representing more than a sixth of the total Estonian workforce were trained. This has been followed by systematic public sector funding for courses in digital literacy, cybersecurity, e-services and other related areas.
In support of ICT education, Estonia has launched the IT Academy Program for curriculum and quality development in universities and vocational schools. The European e-competence framework is applied to ICT curriculum development. It includes the introduction and promotion of ICT education in general education, starting in pre-school and primary school and continuing through gymnasium level. ICT educational level is further enhanced by university level doctoral programmes.
Estonian Qualifications Authority is leading a national skills development initiative that analyses the labour and skills necessary for Estonia’s economic development over the next 10 years. Estonian Association of Information Technology and Telecommunications (ITL), is not only a spokesperson for the ICT sector, but also as a partner to government, business, industry and non-profit sectors.
Digital Competencies Assessment and Roadmap for a Digital Nation
Proposal for Action Plan Development
E-Governance Academy and BCS Koolitus have extensive experience in analysing and developing digital competencies not only in Estonia, but also in more than 30 countries around the world. This experience includes initial assessment of ICT competence and development of comprehensive action plans for ICT initiatives to improve digital competence in the country. Click here to see a video on this topic.
This comprehensive Action Plan Development proposal includes:
- First, we create a thorough Digital Competence Maturity Map.
A mapping of existing competencies with future competence needs and the capabilities for increasing competencies.
- Second, we build the Roadmap for Comprehensive Competence Development:
The priorities and goals with references to international experience and best practices. This sets the major ICT competence improvement priorities for next 3-5 years, based on analysis of existing data, future needs and trends, and assessment from important stakeholders involved.
- Third, we develop, implement and coordinate an Action Plan involving all user groups.
The plan considers all levels and forms of improving IT competencies with a detailed focus on strategic priorities.
Examples of priority topics in which detailed policy- and action plans are usually appropriate:
- Extensive training initiativesfor citizens in core digital competences (DIGCOMP, digital services, cybersecurity, etc)
- ICT curriculum development at all levels of education
- Using the e-competence framework as basis for ICT curriculum development methodology
- Introduction and promotion of ICT education in general education (starting from pre-school and primary school levelthrough gymnasium and vocational schools)
- Development of university doctoral programmes
- Launch training programmes for public sector officials to become informed ICT buyers and IT development administrators.
- Capability Development Programme for public sector executive and senior management, enabling ICT awareness and administration
- Train-the-trainers programme for Public Sector ICT managers to launch a corresponding secondary training programmes
- Digital Capability Development Programme to enhance ICT knowledge for a broad range of public sector officials
- Development of public sector Training centre for digital skills; defining competence requirements; developing and launching priority training programmes
- Development of ICT Training Capabilities for the open market
- Determination of specialists-level trainings and certifications needed for preparation of ICT specialists in the country.
- Selection of necessary international training and certification programmes.
- Stimulating private sector to launch and update IT training offerings
For further information, please contact:
BCS Koolitus AS Aia 7, Tallinn Estonia, Phone: +372 680 6880, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ants Sild – Senior Consultant, Member of the Board Ants.email@example.com S: ants.sild