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The UOC and Barcelona City Council are helping citizens to improve their digital skills

  Foto: Unsplash/Robin Worrall

Foto: Unsplash/Robin Worrall

17/01/2019
Anna Snchez-Jurez
The project plans to put together a digital skills map and observatory

Closing the digital gender divide is one of the initiative's overriding aims

According to European Commission data, 43% of jobs forecasted to be created between now and 2030 will require highly qualified individuals. Facing this challenge will only be possible through lifelong learning and training underlined by a special emphasis on digital skills. Barcelona City Council, through Barcelona Activa, and the UOC have signed an agreement to boost citizens' digital skills, with a view to fostering a more digitally competent population as a whole.

In Europe, women account for only 27% and 20% of graduates in Engineering and Computer Science, respectively. The percentage of men working in the digital sector is 3.1 times higher than for women, and only 19% of workers in ICT-related jobs have a female boss. Therefore, to close the digital gender divide, the project will strive to ensure that Cibernrium training covers the full range of technological knowledge and use in such a way that everyone can benefit from it.

According to Lorenzo di Pietro, Barcelona Activa's Executive Director of Business, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, the more than 10,000 people using Cibernrium for training each year will be able put together their own personalized training plans based on their needs, as well as measure their performance level for each skill level. “What's more,” he said, “our strategy has taken into consideration territorial differences so as to reach the entire population, especially those at risk of digital exclusion.”

The initiative's action plan foresees the creation of a digital skills map that will guide individuals' understanding of the knowledge, skills and attitudes they may or may not have in this area. The director of the Digital Skills programme at the UOC, Montse Guitert, explained that “the map will allow citizens to gauge their own digital skill level and see where they are at, in other words, discover their strengths and find out what they are lacking to become real digital citizens. It will also propose personalized training plans based on users' prior knowledge, interests and needs.”

The project also plans to build a digital skills observatory as a reference tool aimed at both citizens and the members of university and research institute communities. “The observatory will be an online space for information on digital trends, indicators and the uses and habits of the digital society. Data will be collated from studies, reports, articles, market research, statistics and interviews, among other sources,” said Guitert.

Moreover, a training programme will be designed around obtaining an equivalent certificate to the Government of Catalonia's Accreditation of Skills in Information and Communication Technologies (ACTIC) for all three levels: beginner, intermediate and advanced.

 

The project is committed to keeping gender at the centre of its plan

The project, running until 31 December 2019, will carry out activities, undertakings and documentation that complement the Cibernrium's and will maintain a gender perspective to avoid falling into sexist gender stereotypes and roles. The project has also considered the linguistic angle, undertaking to make use of inclusive language. As such, the activities plan will include elements that strive for equal opportunities and results for women and men, as well as an end to gender discrimination.