ALL DIGITAL welcomes the comprehensive, ambitious plan, announced by the EU Commission on 9 March 2021, to set a vision, targets, and avenues for a successful digital transformation of Europe by 2030.
ALL DIGITAL is encouraged to see that the digital transformation, and the role of digital skills, remains a priority for action by the Commission.
The four ‘points’ of the Digital Compass are essential to empowering people and developing an inclusive society and economy. ALL DIGITAL has long been committed to the cardinal points of ‘Digitally skilled citizens and highly skilled digital professionals’ as well as ‘Digital transformation of businesses’ and ‘Digitalisation of Public Services’. Digital skills are the crucial enabler for these cardinal points that will help citizens, employers, and organisations to succeed in the digital transformation. ALL DIGITAL and its members support the digital skills development of 1.5 million Europeans every year. Now, ALL DIGITAL looks forward to working with the Commission to delivering on the vision set out in the Digital Compass Communication as well as the European Social Pillar Action Plan, Digital Education Action Plan, and other planned policy reform to shape Europe’s digital future.
Targeted, effective action is required to achieve the goal at least 80% of all adults having basic digital skills by 2030. Digital has been a policy priority before, but this has not been reflected in delivery. Delivering on this action will require co-ordinated action by Commission services and real engagement with the digital skills community. Resources must be put to use; the European Court of Auditors reported in February 2021 that little progress has been made in recent years in improving basic digital competence among adult Europeans and the amount of funding and EU-funded projects focusing on basic digital literacy for adults has been relatively low. This situation cannot continue.
It is unfortunate that DigComp: The European Digital Competence Framework does not feature prominently in the Communication. The Commission has worked with stakeholders and practitioners on the development of DigComp, and it has been established as a key tool for supporting development and understanding of digital competences in Europe over the last seven years. Going forward, DigComp must underpin the delivery of the vision and actions announced in the Communication. All job and vacancies descriptions in the EU labour market should include clear information on digital skills requirements, which should be developed using DigComp. And it is essential that the areas, competences, and ethos of DigComp are reflected in the framework of digital principles and inter-institutional declaration announced in the Communication.
ALL DIGITAL also encourages the Commission to make good use of complimentary competence frameworks (EntreComp, LifeComp and the upcoming competence framework for green skills) as well as other digital competence frameworks to ensure a holistic and sustainable approach to skills development.
ALL DIGITAL and its members will actively support the Commission on the realisation of the vision and targets set out in the Communication. ALL DIGITAL is uniquely placed as a network organisation that connects 20,000 digital competence centres across the EU to support delivery of the multi-country projects and the international partnerships described in the Communication.