The European Commission adopted a comprehensive digital skills and education package on 18 April 2023. Relating to a digital skills certificate and a digital education action plan, the proposals fit in the context of the European Year of Skills. The aim is to support European Union Member States and the education and training sector in providing high-quality, inclusive and accessible digital education and training to develop the digital skills of European citizens.
The proposals address the two main common challenges jointly identified by the EC and EU Member States: 1) the lack of a whole-of-government approach to digital education and training, and 2) difficulties in equipping people with the necessary digital skills.
- Strengthening key enabling factors
The proposal for a ‘Council Recommendation on the key enabling factors for successful digital education and training’ calls upon all Member States to ensure universal access to inclusive and high-quality digital education and training, which will help to address the digital divide. This could be achieved by creating a coherent framework of investment, governance and teacher training for effective and inclusive digital education. It proposes guidance and action that Member States can pursue to implement a whole-of-government and multi-stakeholder approach as well as a culture of bottom-up innovation and digitalisation led by education and training staff.
- Improving digital skills teaching
The proposal for a ‘Council Recommendation on improving the provision of digital skills in education and training’ tackles each level of education and training. It calls on Member States to start early by providing digital skills in a coherent way through all levels of education and training, with incremental objectives and targeted interventions for specific ‘priority or hard-to-reach groups’. The proposal calls upon Member States to support high quality informatics in schools, to mainstream the development of digital skills for adults, and to address shortages in information technology professions by adopting inclusive strategies.
The Commission stands ready to support the implementation of both proposals by facilitating mutual learning and exchanges among Member States and all relevant stakeholders through EU instruments, such as the Technical Support Instrument. The Commission also promotes digital education and skills through cooperation within the European Digital Education Hub and through EU funding programmes.
Pilot for a European Digital Skills Certificate
A key action by the Commission will be facilitating the recognition of certification of digital skills. To this end, the Commission will run a pilot project of the European Digital Skills Certificate together with several Member States. The results of the pilot will be presented as part of a feasibility study on the European Digital Skills Certificate towards the end of 2023.
The two proposals draw on the conclusions of the Structured Dialogue on digital education and skills, which the Commission engaged in with EU Member States throughout 2022. The objective was to increase commitments to digital education and skills and help accelerate efforts at EU level, so Europe can deliver on its Digital Decade targets for 2030. The proposals also deliver on the two strategic priorities of the Digital Education Action Plan, which is a key enabler to realising the vision of achieving a European Education Area by 2025, and contributes to achieving the goals of the European Skills Agenda, the European Pillar of Social Rights Action Plan and the 2030 Digital Compass.
Read the full story from the European Commission and visit the following sites for related details: