Validation of digital skills

Validation of digital skills

By Gabriela Ruseva There are hundreds of thousands of ICT centres, libraries and NGOs where people can learn digital skills. But are the skills acquired through these trainings formally recognised? Do they count for employers and universities and how do people prove them? With a university diploma, we can prove our skills. But what happens when we learn at a non-formal training centre or through volunteering? These were some of the questions discussed at the Policy debate on validation of non-formal education, organized by EUCIS-LLL and the European Youth Forum on 9th July in Brussels. Validation is a hot topic in the youth field, especially in the context of youth volunteerism and activism and many of the participants were from youth organisations. Telecentre Europe, Fit4Jobs project partner from Belgium participated at the event to raise the question of validation and recognition of digital skills. Four steps in validation European Commission representative Koen Nomden (Skills Unit) spoke about EU initiatives, namely the Council Recommendations on validation of non-formal learning outcomes. The Recommendations ask Member States to set national validation frameworks for non-formal learning before 2018. The main objective of validation is to “enable individuals to obtain qualification on the basis of validating their experience”. There are four steps in validation: identification, documentation, assessment and certification. Testing your digital skills Digital skills, just like as language skills, are considered horizontal skills. They do not lead to a specific qualification and occupation. Therefore, they are not validated through the European Qualifications Framework (EQF) through the same formal procedure applied for example for a chef who has cooking skills and who can get his skills tested and receive...
Positive feedback on Fit4Jobs in Lithuania

Positive feedback on Fit4Jobs in Lithuania

Association Langas į ateitį (LIA) is a non-profit association and the coordinator of fit4jobs national activities in Lithuania. The project was featured in Lithuania’s biggest news portal DELFI. To find out how the project is being implemented, we talked with Rita Goberė who is the Training and Education Officer (TEO) of Fit4jobs in Lithuania. Rita, tell us about the profile of the candidates trained within the Lithuanian Fit4jobs project. The first screening of the young candidates by our organisation (LIA) for the project revealed that 31% of a total 150 candidates knew the basics of programming and wanted to further improve their skills. 41% of them are still studying while 31% are already in employment, but looking to change jobs or careers. 34% of total 150 candidates for the Fit4jobs project were women. During the 2nd phase of selection interviews we saw that a many young people have studied subjects not related to ICT. These young people have realised that this is a real need in the labour market. We also saw people with jobs who are want to make a change in their career and shift it towards ICT. We know that you’ve partnered with Vilnius State Unemployment Agency. What is their role in the project? Overall, we have seen a lot of interest in the project coming from governmental institutions because Fit4jobs tackles the problem of youth unemployment directly and addresses the challenge of preparing more ICT specialists. Partnering with Vilnius State Unemployment Agency mainly helped to shape the training curriculum of soft skills. The Youth Career Centre of the Agency also helped us define the training curriculum and...
Fit4jobs project reveals the potential for non-profits to help bridge the skills gap

Fit4jobs project reveals the potential for non-profits to help bridge the skills gap

Take any private or public organisation today and consider its current need for skills: you can easily see that there is a significant skills gap between most employers’ needs and the digital competence of the workforce. This is not only true for the high-end of advanced ICT professionals, but also for middle-skilled professions, which are growing fast and are increasingly digitalized. Employers and employees are having trouble keeping up; but so are education and training institutions. We cannot always count on them to provide timely and targeted learning on the digital skills required by the labour market. Lifelong Learners This brings us to the candidates. Fit4jobs proposes a new view of the job candidate: a lifelong-learner whose motivation is his passport to opportunity. But where can we find these candidates? Non-profits working in the field of digital inclusion can find plenty of motivated individuals- they come to the courses, the telecentres, the libraries and they all want to learn new skills. These candidates, many of them at risk of long-term unemployment, will benefit most from acquiring digital competence. We need to recognise them and provide them concrete opportunities for learning useful digital skills. It would all be impossible without the help of the prospective employers. Collaboration with employers during the Fit4jobs project is key. Employers know exactly what skills their business needs to grow and are increasingly willing to share this information. In projects such as Fit4jobs they have access to prepared candidates who have the exact skills they need for their business, and all of this without spending extra resources on recruitment! Recruitment turned on its head And what...
Digital Champion of Belgium talks about Ericsson and digital skills

Digital Champion of Belgium talks about Ericsson and digital skills

We met with the Digital Champion of Belgium Saskia Van Uffelen earlier in April in Brussels. A mother of five and CEO of Ericsson BeLux, S. Van Uffelen was invited to European Young Innovators Forum event to share her experience on what skills are crucial for today’s career and how to obtain them. An informal “coffee meeting” format led to an interactive discussion where we used the opportunity to interview Saskia about digital skills (aka e-skills) and digital jobs. Saskia has worked with the Digital Agenda commissioner Neliee Kroes in the digital ambassadors’ team for two years. Digitalisation of education, e-commerce and e-skills are Saskia’s priorities as Digital Champion. She thinks that “digital” today is about new services, innovative business models and data. As an employer, Saskia brings the responsibility to anticipate what jobs will not exist anymore and prepare her employees for a digital change to make them re-employable. In her view, technology has led us to a networked society where stakeholders are constantly changing: our competitors of today will not necessarily be the competitors of tomorrow. “Some of the activities that NGOs are doing, will be more and more a shared responsibility and maybe in 2030 every company will have an NGO responsibility integrated and shared with each other.” Watch our 6-minute interview...
Digital Skills in Europe: 4 Areas to Focus On

Digital Skills in Europe: 4 Areas to Focus On

Guest Post by Tom Redford from the ECDL Foundation originally appeared on ECDL Foundation Blog on April 10, 2015    Two years into its work, the Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs has achieved a lot, and recognising the need to continue pushing to develop digital skills in Europe, DG CONNECT, the EU’s digital department, recently published a blog post titled, ‘Here’s how we will improve digital skills and create more jobs in Europe’. It’s more important than ever to ensure that workers in Europe have the skills that both they, and the economy, need; a fact that is highlighted in the post: “Moreover, there is a need for digital skills for nearly all jobs where digital technology complements existing tasks. In the near future 90% of jobs – in careers such as engineering, accountancy, nursing, medicine, art, architecture, and many more – will require some level of digital skills.” The urgency of this situation is shown in numerous studies and surveys on the digital competencies of workers and job-seekers. According to figures from the EU, only half of workers across Europe judged their current ICT skills as being sufficient for the labour market. That falls to as low as 26% in some countries, and needs to be seen in the context of research in Austria showing that people frequently overestimate their digital skills. Employers have similar reservations about the skills of their workforces, with a survey in the UK revealing that 48% of employers did not believe that their workforces had the right digital skills to meet future challenges. The EU’s DESI indicator also highlights the problem, with less than half of the workforce in the EU...
Partners meet to discuss project progress and global vision for jobs in Lisbon

Partners meet to discuss project progress and global vision for jobs in Lisbon

24.04.2015 Lisbon The FIT4JOBS partners team met in Lisbon on April 20-22 to discuss the milestones reached so far in this European Commission funded project that replicates the employer-led training model pioneered by the Irish FIT Ltd (Fast Track to IT) across five additional European countries: Greece, Portugal, Spain, Latvia and Lithuania. The project also shows how the Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs acts at the local level to deal with the lack of digital skills in Europe. The FIT4JOBS project team was built through partnerships between seven non-for profit organisations working to reduce the digital and social divide through training and support for marginalised groups. In the FIT4JOBS project the training is targeted at unemployed young people seeking to enter the workforce. Project partners are members of Telecentre Europe, a member-based association representing networks and promoting initiatives in the field of digital skills and social inclusion. Telecentre Europe has a key role in facilitating National and Local Coalitions for Digital skills and jobs and FIT4JOBS activities in the 6 participating countries are indeed part of their own National and Local Coalition plans. The FIT4JOBS project partners include the leading ICT professional non-governmental association promoting the development of Information Society and e-skills in Latvia – LIKTA (Latvian Information and Communication Technology Association). The leading partner in Lithuania is the Association Asociacija „Langas į ateitį” (Window to the Future), a non-profit initiative launched in 2002 by private companies that provides computer literacy and Internet training to adults. The Spanish Association of Telecentre Networks (ACRT) brings together a number of entities to impulse, activate and maintain public spaces (telecentres) so as to...