If we are to come to terms with the digital skills gap in Europe, education and training need to become a joint responsibility between employers, employees, educators and policy makers. We need to test ideas, develop projects, work and think together on the best ways to give people the skills they need for new jobs– Andrus Ansip, Vice-President for the Digital Single Market Based on the recent evidence of the European Commission, ICT for Work (2017).
The digital economy is transforming and getting a bigger impact on the way people work and what kind of skills they need at and for work. This leads to new major challenges for employers, workers and authorities.
To reinforce the efforts towards preparing young people with the needed skills, the European Commission announced the Digital Action Plan (2018) which focuses on the implementation and the need to stimulate, support and scale up purposeful use of digital and innovative education practices.
Equipping young Europeans with the right skills has been reaffirmed by the 2016 Resolution on ‘A New Skills Agenda for an Inclusive and Competitive’ Europe which stated that skills are a pathway to employability and prosperity. However, a skills gap is existent, e.g. 40% of employers cannot find people with the skills they need, whereas students leave E&T without being sufficiently prepared to enter the labour market. Until now schools have been using ICT to focus purely on computer literacy.
Indeed, nowadays is an ever growing need to teach youngsters computer science and digital literacy: teaching them how to code, and how to create their own programs; just teaching them how work a computer works is not enough anymore. It is important to understand how a computer works and especially how to make it work for you and your needs.
The D(at)YW project pioneers to design a Complete Tool Kit and a Knowledge Pack for developing, implementing and monitoring various inclusive strategies for promoting deep digital skills in youth work aiming to bridge the digital gap and promote the creation of partnerships between the Youth Work, stakeholders, institutions, the labour market, policy maker, ICT experts, providers and enterprises by:
- Utilizing the non-working time (i.e. after school/college, summertime, afternoon) available in a constructive way to set up DIGITAL@YOUTHWORK Clubs/Labs while providing access opportunities for participation for young people with fewer opportunities, especially girls.
- Creating synergies between Youth organizations, Schools and the business world in order to bridge the skills-gap between education and the labour market.
- Introducing the Open Badges as a method to validate and award the digital skills acquired by both the Youth People and Youth Workers thus achieving transferability, credibility and transparency.
- Creating transnational cooperation between partners for the organization of competitions, events, C1 mobility, digital movement as part of the EU strategy.
The direct target group is young people (16-22 yrs.) in need, especially girls as purported by the 2018 Digital Action Plan, whereas an indirect target group is youth workers, whose profiles will be upgraded and strengthened.
The project aims to strengthen the profiles of the Youth Workers and also upgrade the quality of Youth Work through the development of Complete Tool Kit accompanied with a set of new teaching and learning material to support the acquisition of high-tech digital skills of young people.
The project will be prepared with a professional development course for digital up skilling. One will introduce the DIGITAL@YOUTHWORK program with the intended progress and the needed indicators. A validation system is also proposed to make digital skills visible, transparent and recognised.
The project in its entirety persecute the goal attainment of development of deep tech digital skills as striven for in recent reports of the EU, e.g. 2018 Digital Action Plan, 2017 New Skills Agenda, 2018 Renewed Key Competences as approach to bridge the digital gap with labour.