Meeting The Modern Job Market’s Needs
In the past job-distinct skills and education were all you needed in order to advance professionally. Today’s job market however, has become more demanding. European citizens need to gear up on transversal skills such as digital and linguistic, but also heighten their ability of critical thinking. These skills are crucial in creating high quality entrepreneurs in order to lower the unemployment rate.
ICT professions have penetrated a great variety of professional sectors. According to the “Opening Up Education” Communication approximately 90% of jobs require IT skills today. Consequently, digital skills are transversal skills that employees need to acquire in order to be marketable and stand out in the job market. Nowadays employers do not only focus on one’s academic and professional background but also take into account candidates’ transversal skills. ICT professionals need to comprehend the importance of digital skills and attain them as per EU recommendation.
Moreover, the “Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs” was launched on 4 March 2013 in Brussels. The theme of the conference was “e-Skills and Education for Digital Jobs” and its main goal was to facilitate action towards enhanced digital skills at national, regional or local level in EU countries. The EU goals for the period 2014-2020 are the promotion of ICT professionalism and the generation of a larger talent pool of entrepreneurs, business leaders, managers and advanced users with a focus on the strategic use of new information and communication technologies.
Current analysis has shown that the level of career websites’ interoperability across Europe is very low. Although there is coverage of e-Skills development and career support, individual portals provide only partial information. Users have to shift from one service to another in order to seek an integrated pathway for career development. In an ideal scenario individuals interested in ICT skills and digital competence information should be connected to further related information such as certifications, qualifications, assessment services and educational guidance services.
The project’s’ General Objective is to develop and demonstrate a European-wide learning technology demo platform, adapted in the ever changing demands in today’s job market classifications. In a nutshell, it supports training for acquiring the necessary e-Skills and digital competences to stay competitive and gain edge within the ICT sector.
The e-Skills Match platform classifies ICT skills and digital competences using the e-Cf and ESCO European frameworks. The identified skills are linked to the qualifications required for each occupation in the ICT sector. At the same time, the skills are matched with open learning and training providing courses that will help learner acquire missing skills and competences.
Its Specific Objectives are as follows:
- To identify relevant Open Educational Resources (OER) and MOOCs for e-Skills training, assess their quality and define the knowledge and skills acquired through consultation with stakeholders.
- To develop the e-Skills Match system prototype that supports each individual to make informed decisions regarding his/her learning path required for particular occupations.
- To test and visualise the e-Skills Match platform at EU level, with specific focus on four EU countries (Greece, Italy, Spain and Sweden).
e-Skills Match will allow individuals to create and manage their e-Portfolio, perform an e-Skills audit in order to analyse their e-Skills and digital competences, to self-assess their position in the labor environment and to plan learning routes for complementing occupational e-Skills, or in some cases to prepare for the validation through academic course providers.
The project will investigate the development and deployment of the e-Skills Match web-based multilingual platform for knowledge networking related to e-Skills and digital competences demand and supply in different sectors of the ICT field.
e-Skills Match is addressed to:
- ICT professionals and individuals who wish to:
- assess and visualize their skills;
- identify possible learning paths;
- enhance their ICT knowledge and fill some possible skill-gaps.
- VET and higher education institutions interested in promoting courses that are linked to digital skills and ICT job profiles included in the e-Skills Match platform;
- Certification providers, interested in certifying the registered ICT professionals' e-competences;
- Anyone interested for information on the current e-competence offers, in terms of training, certifications available by registered coursed providers and "skilled labor” updates.
Services for users
The e-Skills Match demo platform will offer on-line services to European citizens in particular those who are faced with unemployment or seek new careers or new job direction within their career path. Interested individuals will have to register to the platform, create and manage their e-Skills profile by describing their current e-Skills and qualifications and provide evidence of such. Consequently registered users will be able to access the following services:
Detect e-Skills and digital competences required for different ICT occupations;
Create their individual e-Portfolio this is an electronic collection of evidence reflecting their professional and academic background that can serve as an electronic resume;
Knowledge elicitation and representation - Mapping of current e-Skills and levels of digital competences visualized on a Career Concept Map.
Perform e-Skills audits in order to identify the individual’s e-Skills gaps.
In a nutshell the project’s platform aims to integrate the following services:
- e-Competences self-assessment with the related outcomes formalized by graphs;
- e-Competence / job profile training resources available, including OER (Open Education Resources) and MOOCS (Massive Open On-line Courses), as well as market certifications;
- e-Competence certifications through academic course providers based on validation procedures recognized at European level.