This toolkit provides stakeholders with guidance on developing a digital skills strategy. It is intended for policymakers, along with partners in the private sector, non-governmental organizations, and academia. Its overarching aim is to facilitate the development of a comprehensive digital skills strategy at country level. It is also possible to use this guide to focus on selected priorities that require a fresh approach.
Why do countries need a digital skills strategy?
Digital skills underpin nearly every aspect of work and life. From filling in a government form to communicating for work, it is difficult to find a job or life-task that does not require a basic level of digital functioning. And with new technologies emerging every day, we need lifelong opportunities to learn new skills that will allow us to succeed in an era of ongoing digital transformation.
Digital skills are essential in opening the door to a wide range of opportunities in the 21st century. Countries that implement comprehensive digital skills strategies ensure their populations have the skills they need to be more employable, productive, creative, and successful while ensuring they remain safe, secure and healthy online. Critically, digital skills strategies need to be updated regularly to respond to the emergence of new technologies and their impact on the digital economy and digital society.
The digital economy has created a huge shortage of people with the necessary digital skills. ITU research shows that there will be tens of millions of jobs for people with advanced digital skills in the coming years. In Europe, for example, estimates suggest there will be 500,000 unfilled positions for ICT professionals by 2020. Every region faces similar challenges. In addition to existing skills gaps, experts forecast that advances in areas like artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, 3D printing, and other technologies will usher in a new era that will radically alter patterns of consumption, production, and employment. Many countries view digital skills as one of the core foundations of the digital transformation.
How to use this guide
This toolkit provides policymakers and other stakeholders with prac cal informa on, examples, and step-by-step guides to help develop a na onal digital skills strategy. It can also be used to develop policies and programmes to address specific priorities.
There are 12 chapters:
• Chapter 1 provides a checklist for developing a national digital skills training programme – which ensuing chapters flesh out in detail.
• Chapter 2 provides an overview of digital skills.
• Chapter 3 covers a range of stakeholder engagement models that can be used to develop a
digital skills strategy, recognizing digital skills are necessary across sectors.
• Chapter 4 provides guidance on making an inventory of exis ng policies and programmes.
The next six chapters guide the reader through speci c strategies designed to develop digital skills:
• Chapter 5 covers basic and intermediate skills.
• Chapter 6 covers advanced skills.
• Chapter 7 addresses strategies for under-represented groups.
• Chapter 8 examines campaigns as an effective awareness raising strategy.
• Chapter 9 highlights the opportunities of using existing online training resources.
• Chapter 10 offers various op ons for assessing the progress of digital skills programmes.
• Chapter 11 offers sample digital skills roadmaps.
• Chapter 12 looks at future developments and emerging trends.