University of Oxford report shows the link between digital skills and economic prosperity

A new paper from researchers at the University of Oxford, prepared for the European Commission, has examined ways to raise productivity and reduce the digital divide in Europe. The paper, titled, ‘Digitalisation, Jobs and Convergence in Europe: Strategies for Closing the Skills Gap’, looks at the effect that digital technology has had on the workplace, including automation and the introduction of new tasks and activities to existing jobs.

The paper argues that the future success of Europe’s economy, including the ability to take advantage of the many opportunities that ICT offers, depends on raising skill levels across the European Union. Noting the importance for workers of developing their skills, the authors write that, “there will be an increasing need for European workers to develop, refine and update their skillsets over the course of their careers.” The paper acknowledges that, while some workers will need advanced digital skills, “the vast majority of workers will be required to have (at least) basic digital skills.”

In addition to analysing existing problems and areas where action needs to be taken, the paper proposes some specific measures that could be taken, including establishing ‘digital competence centres’, “to provide basic training, help workers to obtain and refine their digital skills, and facilitate and support the adoption of digital technology in firms across the productivity spectrum.” It also proposes that a digital job portal be created to offer, “a standardised means of certification and validation of digital skills and competencies across Member Countries.”

The full paper can be downloaded from the website of the University of Oxford.

Via ECDL Foundation