Background to National Digital Coalition
Bearing in mind that the significant shortage of professionals in information and communications technology (ICT) in the European Union (EU) creates a bottleneck for economic growth, while educational institutions fail to provide a sufficient number of professionals with adequate ICT knowledge and skills demanded on the labor market, in December 2012, the European Commission (EC) announced the Grand Coalition Initiative for the Promotion of Digital Skills and Jobs, the aim of which is to implement the Digital Agenda for Europe and to solve this problem through concrete and coordinated actions of the public and private sectors, by increasing the number of ICT apprenticeships as well as to establish more direct links between education and business, to standardize qualification requirements and to achieve other goals that are pursued.
In order to achieve striking and positive changes at the national level as soon as possible, the EC invited National governments, education and training sectors, ICT companies and non-governmental organizations to join the coalition.
Reasons to create National Digital Coalition (NDC) in Lithuania
In Lithuania it was identified quite a big youth unemployment rate – over 20%, it was foreseen a huge lack of ICT professionals as well as a lack of ICT skills awareness raising among society. At the same time, formal education was not able to fill the lack of ICT professionals as soon as possible.
Following the EU Grand Coalition for Digital jobs initiative the Memorandum of the National Digital Coalition for the Promotion of Digital Skills for Jobs (in Lithuanian – Nacionalinė skaitmeninė koalicija/NSK) in Lithuania was signed on 7th November 2013 in Vilnius.
European Commission Vice-President Neelie Kroes participated during the signing Ceremony. She welcomed a commitment of the Lithuanian initiative NDC and supported by signing Memorandum of National digital coalition of Lithuania together with the parties involved.
The activities of the National Coalition are coordinated and the relationship with other organizations are coordinated by the association “Langas į ateitį“. The mission of NDC in short is to increase youth employment by promoting ICT knowledge and achieve more effective use of the digital potential by cooperation in implementing information society development programme Digital Agenda for Lithuania 2014-2020.
Institutions, companies and organizations agreed to form the National Digital Coalition for the Promotion of Digital Skills for Jobs in Lithuania mission to increase employment and to achieve a more effective use of digital potential and cooperate in implementing information society development programme 2014–2020 Digital Agenda for Lithuania.
1. To substantially reduce the shortage of IT professionals, to improve the conditions for the private and public sector employees as well as all inhabitants to learn and continuously improve the necessary ICT skills for job, the establishment of IT business and development of the digital market:
- To (re)skill the ICT professionals according to market requirements and to encourage professionals from other fields to specialize in ICT.
- To promote e-leadership, ICT start-ups and the use of new digital opportunities in multifarious Lithuanian economy fields.
- To promote a more efficient use of available ICT infrastructure and existing services.
- To promote the development and use of open educational resources, to encourage institutions, companies and organizations to develop and provide Internet courses.
2. To attract more young people to choose ICT and other science studies and professions, to ensure the acquisition of digital skills also when learning other professions:
- To continuously improve general education, higher education and vocational training programmes according to the labour market requirements.
- To seek that the professionals that are being trained had necessary ICT skills required by the labour market.
- To reinforce the framework of digital skills training by cooperation between the representatives of business, education and other organizations.
- To include ICT training to the system of non-formal youth education.
3. To raise public awareness of the importance of digital skills and competences:
- To involve the society in the dissemination activities of digital skills and competences.
- To constantly keep the Lithuanian society informed about the importance of digital skills and competences.
- Reaching every resident of Lithuania, jointly organize public informational campaigns and regional activities.
Relaunching National Digital Coalition in Lithuania
On 14th February of 2017 in the ministry of Transportation and Communication a relaunch event was organized by NDC Stakeholders and Members, and it was agreed to continue its activities with the newly elected Lithuanian Parliament and government support.
Press release (in Lithuanian): http://sumin.lrv.lt/lt/naujienos/susisiekimo-ministras-butina-ugdyti-vyresniu-zmoniu-skaitmeninius-gebejimus.
NDC fully meets the goals of the newly launched Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition by EC, together with Member States, companies, social partners, NGOs and education providers so that to add to the recent challenges – the high demand for digital skills in Europe which are essential in today’s job market and society.