Digital Agenda Assemby a success
Digital skills & competences remain crucial for overall digital agenda progress
The purpose of the first Digital Agenda Assembly, 16 - 17 June, organised by the European Commission, was to assess the progress to date of the aims of the Digital Agenda for Europe, and to plan further concrete actions in a multi-stakeholder, collaborative environment.
One of the key pillars of the DAE is ‘Enhancing Digital Literacy, Skills and Inclusion’, and a series of plenary sessions, panel discussions, and workshop sessions were held at the assembly to assess the progress of the DAE in this area, and to determine future actions to be taken. ECDL Foundation CEO, Mr. Damien O’Sullivan, presented at the main digital literacy and e-inclusion session; he confirmed ECDL Foundation’s commitment to high-level aims of the DAE and announced a series of national events, driven by ECDL Foundation and its pan-European network, that will promote the DAE and will influence decision makers who are either unconvinced or unaware of the importance of digital literacy as a policy issue. He called on the European Commission to assist in connecting these events with influencers across Europe, and in making digital literacy and e-inclusion a political imperative.
As a prelude to the event, the ‘Digital Agenda Scoreboard’ reported details of the progress that has been made in the delivery of all aims of the DAE since it was launched in May 2010. Despite reporting much welcome progress, the scoreboard highlights the following troubling statistics: only 18.5% of employed people in Europe possess ICT user skills, and the ICT skills uptake rate amongst disadvantaged groups is also still only at 48%.
Additionally, in assessing the progress in European digital literacy rates, the scoreboard only takes into account the ability of individuals to negotiate the Internet. ECDL Foundation believes this to be too low a metric for determining digital literacy; to avoid exclusion, and to be able to participate fully in a knowledge society, individuals need to possess end-user computer skills at a considerably higher level than those which enable them to merely operate online.
ECDL Foundation reaffirms its continued commitment to the DAE as an ambitious yet achievable roadmap for the creation of a sustainable, inclusive, and competitive digital economy for Europe.
Download the entire press release here.
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