A very interesting event for our project took place last month in Brussels – the DigComp and EntreComp stakeholder event. The aim was to inspire organisations to use DigComp, the European Digital Competence Framework for Citizens, and EntreComp, the European Entrepreneurship Competence Framework, and to build a community around the two frameworks.
Project partners ALL DIGITAL (previously Telecentre Europe) and Basque country government took part and presented the #pathwaysforemploy project to the educators, trainers, employers, innovators and policy experts who came together on 12th May.
What was the event about?
The European Commission presented the brand-new version 2.1 of the DigComp with 8 proficiency levels and examples of use in daily life (for learning or work). Each level builds on the previous one in terms of how difficult are the tasks we can do (complexity), if we can do them alone or with help (autonomy) and whether we simply remember what we do, or we understand and apply, and even create (cognitive domain). The difference between the levels is explained by making a parallel with learning how to swim. For the moment, practical examples re. each competence are given for a specific level. For example, in competence 1.3 Managing data, information and digital content examples of what we can do are given only at level 2. For competence 2.1 Interacting through digital technologies, examples are given only at level 3, and so on. Only for competence 1.1 Browsing, searching and filtering data, information and digital content, there are examples for each competence level, which illustrates the evolution of a competence as we learn and get better. The next step is to develop examples for all levels in each competence to provide this comprehensive illustration. Stephanie Carretero Gómez, the JRC expert behind DigComp, collected input from stakeholders re. such examples during a dedicated workshop in the second half of the event.
The first half of the event was organised around two parallel panel sessions – one on DigComp and one on EntreComp – with contributions from stakeholders who have experience in using the frameworks. We attended the session on DigComp, where representatives from ministries of education in Spain, Germany and France talked about how they used DigComp to update their digital education strategies. This was mostly about formal education.
The second half of the day stakeholders discussed in parallel workshops about the future of the frameworks.
Why was #pathwaysforemploy relevant to the event?
We presented pathwaysforemploy on our stand at the stakeholder exhibition and during one of the parallel workshops. We even got an award, but more about that later!
So, what did we show to the participants who came to our stand? The project flyer, of course, which provides general information about the project, but more importantly, the informative infographs – one for entrepreneur and one for virtual office worker – that our partner Guadalinfo prepared. The infographs present in a very visual way the draft competence profiles defined as a result of our research. The profiles show which digital skills are essential, transversal and complementary for entrepreneurs and virtual office workers. We can immediately see for example that for entrepreneurs managing digital identity is very important, whereas for virtual office workers interacting and collaborating through digital technologies is key. Entrepreneurs need to be able to identify their needs and technological responses, much more than virtual office workers, who are usually supported by the ICT department of their company in this. A closer look at the competence profiles reveals other interesting findings. The profiles are defined based on the survey we conducted among more than 80 entrepreneurs, trainers, owners of SMEs and consultants and 63 free lancers, project managers, and other experts experienced in working remotely. More about the survey methodology and results in another article!
Why was this event relevant for #pathwaysforemploy?
Both competence profiles that we develop in this project – entrepreneur and virtual office worker – are based on DigComp. When defining the Entrepreneur profile we worked both with DigComp and EntreComp, asking experts in the field to compare the two frameworks. How? We listed the 15 entrepreneurship competences defined in EntreComp and ask our survey respondents which digital competences help, or enable, those entrepreneurship competences. We found out that for some entrepreneurship competences one needs digital competences more than in others. For example, digital competence can considerably help entrepreneurs to spot opportunities (EntreComp 1.1), because most information about the market, customers, needs, can be found by a properly done online search. But to motivate others, or take the initiative, other, soft skills are crucial.
We this experience during the workshop “The case for co-working DigComp and EntreComp” only to find out that we are the first project ever (!) that tried to co-work the two competence frameworks. And we got an award for doing this ground-breaking work.
All event participants that we managed to talk to were really interested in the final results of our research, and we were very happy to get such positive feedback for our work!
(Image https://flic.kr/p/UEv7L9 (CC BY-ND 2.0))