Digiskills Belgium tackles the digital skills gap for all citizens | Agoria

Digiskills Belgium tackles the digital skills gap for all citizens

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Published on 18/11/21 by Sarah Godard
On Thursday 18th November, the Belgian National Coalition for Digital Skills & Jobs has released Digiskills Belgium, an ecosystem that gathers initiatives and training for all Belgian citizens who want to improve or upgrade their digital skills. By bringing together education & training providers, trade & business associations, IT companies and others with a common goal of sharing knowledge, DigiSkillsBelgium.be will be the one place to go for each citizen and by this intends to reduce the digital skills gap on a national level and provide an sustainable answer to the talent shortage.

Vacancies on the labour market are at their highest level ever. The talent shortage affects all sectors, including the technology sector. “The number of vacancies is a major issue for our companies. If we continue to deal with the talent as we do today, by 2030 there will be 541,000 jobs that we cannot fill”, says Bart Steukers, CEO of Agoria. “However, the job opportunities offered by digitalization are enormous. If we act strongly and together”. 

But tackling the rising demand for digital skills in today's society is still challenging. “There is still a lot of work to do”, comments Saskia Van Uffelen, Digital Champion for Belgium. “The government wants eight out of ten people to be employed by 2030. Today, we however around 70% on average, but there are also a number of regions that are below that. For instance, girls and women with the right skills for the digital world is only at 66%”.

Connecting people with the right skills

There are quite a few initiatives that respond to the need for the right competencies. "We can be proud of the great initiatives in Belgium. But those who actually need them do not always know about their existance. The big challenge that we are tackling here in concrete terms is to ensure that everyone can easily find the right initiative" says Saskia Van Uffelen. 

It is to adress this challenge and to offer a sustainable answer to the increasing digitalisation of society that Digiskills Belgium was created. The webplatform has four goals : 

  • Informating : Creating visbibility on one place of the large inventory of training initiatives and organisations in the field of digital skills and increasing their visibility to all Belgian citizens.
  • Activating : Supporting employees, jobseekers, seniors,  youngster, students so all Belgians looking to skill/reskill/upskill and to adapt their skills and work experience in order to match new digital requirements. Moreover, we'll be promoting lifelong learning and increased employability prospects for all citizens.
  • Facilitating : Facilitating access to funding for Skills initiatives & actions and ensure the development of their activities in the future.
  • Inspiring : The ultimate goal of DigiSkills Belgium.be is to help all citizens and organisations in defining their path to digital transformation by providing inspirational information & best practices, with special focus on e-inclusion for all.


“The coming months we will welcome all relevant stakeholders to the platform to be sure we have the most relevant search results. As of February 2022 the goal is to activate it for all citizans. At that moment the postman from Londerzeel can go on DigiSkillsBelgium to develop his basic digital skills, young girls who want to learn to code or someone who has basic knowledge of AI but wants to develop into an expert. We link all these initiatives to citizens who want to develop their digital skills. These can be free or paying initiatives”, explains Saskia Van Uffelen. 


A national initiative

Digiskills Belgium is an initiative of the Belgian National Coalition for Digital Skills and Jobs lead by Saskia Van Uffelen Digital Champion Belgium, which develops concrete measures to bring digital skills to all levels of society.

As a reflection of the European Commission's commitment to address digital as a "make-or-break issue", the platform represents a concrete tool for anyone who wants to improve or upgrade their digital skills - from training and upskilling opportunities, to digital skills resources and career guidance.

The Belgian National Coalition for Digital Skills and Jobs brings together as early adopters, local and national parties active in digital transformation and skills:several Federal and and Regional government departments, professional federations Agoria, VBO and Federgon, training institutions Syntra and Technifutur, and education and human resource-oriented technological companies like UQALIFY and Nalantis.  The launch of the platform is a founding step and a call to action for more partners to join the initiative !
 

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