With the 2006 European Recommendation on Key Competences (Council of the European Union, 2006), all EU Member States have agreed on a framework of eight Key Competences for Lifelong Learning. Digital Competence is a transversal key competence which, as such, enables acquiring other key competences, and is a very relevant and necessary skill to equip people more competitive on the labour market and overall digitally competent.
Europe is also facing a skills deficit and, during a time of economic crisis, highly-skilled individuals have a better chance of finding a job. With an estimated 90% of jobs requiring digital skills in the near future, it is thus essential that education and training systems provide individuals with the required skills (EU2020).
In the twenty-first century, learning takes place almost everywhere, at all times, on all kinds of paths and at all kinds of paces. With the click of a mouse or the touch of a screen, people can access a wealth of information, analyze it, and produce new knowledge at any time. They can do this, moreover, on a “just-in-time” basis, getting the information they are most interested in, in virtually whatever format they choose.
These learning opportunities break wide open the traditional confines of school walls and school days, and provide more options and opportunities for lifelong learning. Individuals have the ability to develop content knowledge as well as skills such as critical thinking, communication, and collaboration that are essential for productive employment and effective citizenship in the twenty-first century.
The project will also pay a special attention to the recognition and validation of skills and qualifications: taking the DIGCOMP framework as reference (launched by JRC-IPTS), the project purpose is to ensure that skills and qualifications can be more easily recognized. The Pillar VI of the Digital Agenda for Europe – A Europe 2020 Initiative (Enhancing digital literacy, skills and inclusion), in its Action 58 try to develop a framework to recognise ICT skills. This project takes the DIGCOMP framework as a reference to assess the digital competence of citizens. These objectives and priorities will be achieved through the project that addresses above mentioned challenges and needs relevant to several fields in non-formal and informal education.
We have identified 2 interesting profiles for employment & digital competences offering job opportunities next years and we’re going to define the competences profiles based on the DIGCOMP framework: entrepreneur and virtual office workers.
We are focusing on non-formal and informal education and thus want to address the target group of people taking part in activities outside a formal educational environment. Students also have the ability to develop specific workforce skills and build on their own interests. The project shall also contribute to the achievement of one the four strategic objectives of the Education and Training 2020: improve the quality and efficiency of education and training; all citizens need to be able to acquire digital competences and all levels of education and training need to be made more attractive and efficient.
The project plans to use Mozilla Open badges too, they have gained traction since 2011 because they meet needs not currently being met, not only for learners ranging from Kindergarten through college, but for lifelong learners transitioning from one career to another, or for employees staying current with their careers. The patchwork way our learning is currently recognized means that many of our abilities are unevenly recognized or not recognized at all. There are skills, abilities and knowledge acquired outside classroom walls that lack the necessary credentials to verify what they know and can do.
We are going to define the recognition pathways focused on employment and digital competences at European level and how to display expertise and abilities gained in ways that employers find relevant. In the project the EU added value is performed particularly with organizations with mutually complementary expertise, background, national and international experience in the sphere of digital competences.
The implementation of the project on EU level will bring added value with regard to the efficient and broad dissemination of project results as well, which will reach a much larger representation of the target groups thus multiplying the impact of the project in geographical perspective.