Italy - National Coalition for Digital Skills and Jobs (Repubblica Digitale)
In April 2020, the Ministry for Technological Innovation and Digital Transition launched the Italian Coalition for Digital Skills and Jobs. The Coalition builds on ‘Repubblica Digitale’, a multi-stakeholder initiative that promotes digital skills at all levels of the Italian economy and society. The initiative aims to identify and engage as many stakeholders as possible (e.g., businesses, public entities, NGOs etc.), creating a cultural change based on improving the necessary competences to fully realise the benefits of digital transformation.
In 2020, the initiatives of the National Coalition for Digital Skills have trained more than 2.7 million students, 70,000 teachers, over 90,000 citizens, and more than 250,000 workers from both the private and public sectors.
The objective of the Italian Coalition is to bridge the different forms of social and cultural digital divide among the Italian population, foster digital inclusion and promote the development of skills for the works of the future. Up to now, more than 180 organizations have joined the Italian Coalition and they have launched more than 220 projects. Two community-led events also took place: on 2 and 16 December 2020. The Community-led Events are sessions jointly organised by National Coalitions and the Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition, which aim to engage members, broaden the stakeholder network, and provide new insights and contributions to specific relevant topics and themes.
The Italian Digital Skills Strategy implementation - outcome paper findings
The Community-led events provided an opportunity for the National Coalition to present the Strategy and Implementation Plan to all its members and beyond, highlighting the most relevant actions. Feedback on these and overall, on the challenges and solutions to reduce the digital skills gap in Italy was collected through both panel discussions during the event, as well as indirectly through a participant survey. The discussions were centred around the 4 pillars of the Coalition:
- Digital skills in education: Participants presented cross-cutting solutions to tackle identified gaps, namely insufficient infrastructure, lack of basic digital skills, and inconsistent teacher training. Discussions also revolved around increased inclusion of ICT throughout education.
- Digital skills for the labour force: Discussions within this pillar revolved around ensuring the digital transformation goes hand in hand with equipping workers with digital skills. Proposed initiatives and solutions, such as the ASSINTER academy or the 'Eccellenze in Digitale' looked at offering certification and business support for companies, especially for SMEs.
- Digital skills for ICT specialists: The Community-led events took into account the specific problems of the ICT sector itself: lack of diversity, low degree of collaboration, lack of sustainable partnerships, etc. Proposed solutions to evaluate this issue included raising awareness through a Research Digital Skills Observatory and increasing collaboration. One example is the city of Turin. Specific actions to bridge the gender gap present in the sector include the She Tech Programme.
- Digital skills for all citizens: Discussions here included the need to acknowledge different user segmentations and increase collaboration from one region to the next. Solutions that combine this, and a national-level approach include the OutReach platform of the National Research Council, the 'Grandparents of the Internet' initiative, and a variety of podcasts and other mass-media.
The Outcome Paper of the two Community-led Events, on 2 and 16 December 2020 is available in PDF format below.
National coalition details
The Italian Coalition aims to increase opportunities for people to find a job and to allow everyone to be ready for the digital era.
The priorities, based on the goals defined in the Italian Strategy for Digital Skills, are the following:
- Supporting the development of e-skills throughout the higher education and training cycle;
- Ensuring that the entire working population has basic digital skills for the new needs and ways of working;
- Promoting the development of key competences for the future and increase the percentage of ICT specialists, especially in emerging technologies;
- Combatting the cultural digital divide affecting the Italian population through supporting real digital inclusion.
More than 170 members of the Italian Coalition have already launched more than 200 initiatives and this number is rapidly increasing, with more than eight million potential beneficiaries.
Members of the National Coalition are businesses, municipalities, other public entities and NGOs.
The Coalition is led by the Technical Steering Committee of Repubblica Digitale, coordinated by the Department for Digital Transformation - Presidency of the Council of Ministers on behalf of the Minister for Technological Innovation and Digital Transition.
The Committee is formed by representative of Ministries, Conference of Regions, UPI, Anci, AgID, Unioncamere, representatives from universities (CRUI and coordinator of the EU Code Week), research institutes (ConPER), RAI, Confindustria Digitale and citizens' association of the National Coalition for Digital Skills.
Committee is supported by Osservatorio Competenze Digitali (AICA, Anitec-Assinform, Assintel, Assinter Italia), Osservatorio Università-Imprese (Fondazione CRUI), Osservatorio Agenda Digitale and Osservatorio Smart Working (Politecnico di Milano), CINI (Consorzio Interuniversitario Nazionale per l'Informatica), GII (Gruppo di Ingegneria Informatica) and GRIN (Gruppo di Informatica).