Pathways for Employ is a project that aims to develop an assessment/recognition system of digital skills supported by online badges to guide people to their goal of becoming an entrepreneur or virtual office worker.

digital skills
digital skills

One important step in the project is to collect information related to these profiles. Therefore, we developed two online surveys based on Surveymoz Web tool. The aim is to understand what digital competences are needed by anyone who would like to work remotely or become an entrepreneur regardless of the activity field. Many survey questions take into account the DIGCOMP Framework v2.0 and also the EntreComp conceptual model.

For each digital competence, the relevance and level needed for a good performance in entrepreneurship and virtual work will be evaluated.

Some of the competences to be analysed in the online surveys are described below for both profiles, aligned with the 5 digital competences areas proposed by DIGCOMP framework.

The European Digital Competence Framework for Citizens, also known as DigComp [1], is a tool to improve citizens’ digital competence. In the fields of education and training, and employment, there was a need to have a common reference framework of what it means to be digitally savvy in an increasingly globalised and digital world. The need for a common European framework allowing a shared understanding of the meaning and implications of digital competition, and the definition of its components and levels of competence, has given rise to the recent emergence of 3 frameworks created at the request of the European Commission focused on this problem: The eCompetence framework for ICT professionals; The eCompetence framework for end users and the DIGCOMP framework.

The DIGCOMP framework is the most appropriate when we talk about digital competence as a transversal component that is necessary for a wide variety of work profiles. The DIGCOMP study was launched in order to contribute to the better understanding and development of digital competence in Europe. The objective of the project was to identify exhaustive descriptors of digital competence. The study aimed to create a consensus at European level on the components of the Digital Competition, by developing a conceptual framework that could serve as a reference for current frameworks, initiatives, curricula and certifications.

Digital competence consists of three elements: knowledge, skills and attitudes. 21 competences are identified and presented in 5 areas of digital competence: Information and Data Literacy, Communication and Collaboration, Digital Content-creation, Safety and Problem-solving. There is a short definition of each competence, the descriptors for three proficiency levels, examples of the knowledge, skills, and attitudes related to the competence, and two examples of how the competence could be applied to specific purposes, i.e. learning and employment. Recently the JRC has published the second version of DIGCOMP [2]. It constitutes phase 1 of the update of the framework which focuses on the conceptual reference model, new vocabulary and streamlined descriptors. Additionally, DigComp has been put into practice at the EU level, for example into the Europass CV enabling jobseekers to evaluate their own digital competence and include the evaluation in their Curriculum Vitaes. This versatile instrument can be used for various purposes in the context of education, training and employment, and Assessment and certification is one of them.

Moreover, the JRC, on behalf of DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, has developed a definition of entrepreneurship as a competence and a reference framework describing it, the Entrepreneurship Competence Framework (EntreComp) [3].

By producing a common definition of what entrepreneurship as a competence is, the EntreComp aims to establish a bridge between the worlds of education and work and to be taken as a reference de facto by any initiative which aims to foster entrepreneurial learning.

The EntreComp study builds on previous work carried out to define another key competence for lifelong learning: Digital Competence, and aims to comply with the Commission’s top priority on “Jobs, Growth and Investment” and to the Europe 2020 flagship initiative Agenda for New Skills for New Jobs.

Nowadays the requirements are based on developing citizens’ knowledge, skills, and attitudes beyond the usual, narrowly focused curriculum of the past. This more comprehensive approach to teaching and learning necessitates new methods of assessment.

[1] DIGCOMP: A framework for developing and understanding digital competence in europe.http://ipts.jrc.ec.europa.eu/publications/pub.cfm?id=6359

[2] DigComp 2.0: The digital competence framework for citizens. https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/en/publication/eur-scientific-and-technical-research-reports/digcomp-20-digital-competence-framework-citizens-update-phase-1-conceptual-reference-model

[3] ENTRECOMP conceptual model: https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/en/entrecomp

Digital skills for the entrepreneur and the virtual office worker

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