Towards a European Digital Skills Certificate
In today's society, digital skills are indispensable. Whether they are needed for learning, working or in everyday life, everybody must have digital skills to navigate their environment. As technology has continuously evolved at an ever increasing pace, digital skills and the certification of these has gotten muddled in Europe's educational landscape. With a wide variety of digital skills training and certification opportunities offered by various organisations and governments, it is difficult to establish an easily recognisable qualification or certificate.
As a result of this, the European Commission is looking into the development of a European Digital Skills Certificate (EDSC), as announced in the Digital Education Action Plan - Action 9. This certificate would simplify how digital skills are certified and recognised by governments, employers and other stakeholders across Europe. The EDSC will be based on the European Digital Competence Framework (DigComp). This framework provides citizens with a tool to self-assess their digital skills and set learning goals and is continuously updated to ensure the areas of competence reflect the changes and realities of a fast-moving digital world. The EDSC initiative supports the objectives set out in the European Skills Agenda namely on reaching the target of having 70% of 16-74 year olds with at least basic digital skills by 2025 and Europe's Digital Decade target of having at least 80% of the population with basic digital skills by 2030 and is funded by the EU's Erasmus+ programme.
In order to get started on the development of the EDSC, a feasibility study will be carried out in September 2021 exploring potential scenarios for the European Digital Skills Certificate. In the lead up to the feasibility study, ALL DIGITAL, a pan-European organisation representing over 25 000 digital competence centres, consulted their Community of Practice to gather input on the focus of the feasibility study. The insights gathered by ALL DIGITAL will support the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission in developing a feasibility study reflecting the needs of the digital competence community. Following on from the feasibility study, the European Commission will have a pilot prototype phase in September 2022 with the launch of EDSC in 2023.
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