Portuguese initiative INCoDe.2030 presented at EuroDIG 2019

In June 2019, in the Hague, Netherlands, the Portuguese Safer Internet Centre (PT SIC) was invited to participate in the EuroDIG 2019 workshop "Transforming skills to meet innovation challenges".

Date 2019-07-15 Author Portuguese Safer Internet Centre

The session was organised by Olga Kyryliuk (CEO of The Influencer Platform) and Oliana Sula (doctoral student at the Estonian Business School in Tallinn, Estonia and lecturer and researcher at the University" Aleksander Moisiu" in Durres, Albania). It was presented in an innovative format, called "fish bowl", that allowed speakers and participants to jump into the discussion whenever they wished to.

PT SIC's contribution to this workshop consisted in a presentation of the "Portuguese National Programme: INCoDe.2030", an integrated public policy initiative to enhance digital competences.

We live in a world that increasingly relies on digital technologies and where online electronic devices are the most common medium of expression and interaction. Therefore, creating a more resilient society involves developing new competences, particularly digital ones, which are constantly changing and evolving.

Digital competences are essential to exercise full citizenship, but also to facilitate employability by meeting the needs of the increasing digitisation of the labour market. A more skilled working population leads to new jobs, innovative markets and products, which in turn fosters more competitive and robust economic activities. Digital competences are also very important for the development of a critical and multifaceted awareness and to promote social wellbeing and inclusion.

To achieve the Programme's goals, five Action Lines were designed, each intended for a specific target audience:

  • Action Line 1 – Inclusion. Making sure the whole population has equal access to digital technologies to obtain information, communicate, and interact with others.
  • Action Line 2 – Education. Educating the younger population by stimulating and reinforcing digital literacy and digital skills at all levels of schooling and as part of lifelong learning.
  • Action Line 3 – Qualification. Qualifying the working population by providing them with the knowledge they need to become a part of a labour market that relies heavily on digital skills.
  • Action Line 4 – Specialisation. Promoting specialisation in digital technologies and applications to improve employability and create higher added value in the economy.
  • Action Line 5 – Investigation. Providing the conditions for the production of new knowledge and an active participation in international research and development (R&D) networks and programmes.

The Portugal INCoDe.2030 initiative has a multi-faceted approach to digital development, starting with the promotion of digital inclusion and literacy, educating the young generations from an early age, qualifying the active population and specialising graduates for advanced digital jobs.

To monitor and evaluate the achivement of the programme goals, an Observatory for Digital Competences was created. This organism monitors and reports the macro indicators for the following five categories: access, human capital, use, investment, training and certification.

Besides the different public bodies involved, INCoDe.2030 also brings together and encourages the collaboration between wider education stakeholders from the private sector, academia and civil society.

After PT SIC's presentation, participants from various backgrounds shared their views on the initiative. For each session at EuroDIG, speakers and participants must agree on consensual messages summing up workshop outcomes. Thus, to transform skills in order to meet innovation challenges, these were the main ideas that resulted from the discussion:

  1. Our increasingly digital societies require new learning methods to provide individuals with the necessary skills to meet technological innovation challenges. Policymakers, businesses and civil society organisations shall cooperate to create a sustainable working environment. Dutch public authorities have identified two challenges in this regard: the need for new types of experts; and the fact that digitalisation has changed the entire labour market. The Netherlands foster public-private partnerships to address digital literacy and has included the topic in primary and secondary education.
  2. Universities should consider implementing projects that can solve practical and emerging social issues, including cybersecurity challenges at the local and international level. Capacity-building should encompass private and public partnerships in order to tackle cybersecurity workforce shortages. Undersupply and underskilling in the labour market have to be addressed as a whole, and not as distinctive problems.
  3. Public initiatives in Portugal have been created to enhance digital competences and address challenges posed by technology to citizenship, employment and knowledge. Action has also been taken to address inclusion, education, qualification, specialisation and investigation to improve digital literacy.
  4. Digital literacy can improve vulnerable people's lives. Bitcoins, for instance, can include refugees in the economic systems. Digital identity can allow refugees to have access to services that are denied by the public authorities and traditional analogical systems. The challenge is that many refugees have no digital skills. Humanitarian groups, public authorities and the private sector should invest on the digital training of vulnerable people to improve their lives.

For further information, visit incode2030.gov.pt and the EuroDIG website.

Find out more information about the work of the Portuguese Safer Internet Centre (SIC) generally, including its awareness raising, helpline, hotline and youth participation services, or find similar information for Safer Internet Centres throughout Europe.

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