Unit 3 Today’s skills and competences

  • We live in a changing world and the European Union is driving the efforts of the European society to adapt to today’s volatile world through the European Skills Agenda,
  • The European Skills Agenda is a five-year plan to help individuals and businesses develop skills and put them to use for the future of Europe,
  • Digitalisation, sustainability, social fairness, access to education, for everybody and everywhere in the EU and building resilience to react to crises, like the COVID-19 pandemic, are the sweeping forces and at the core of the European Union’s strategies,
  • As a Union of 27 diverse economies, the European Union needs both low-skilled workers for industries like construction, hotels, agriculture and tourism as well as highly educated workers to support the twin transition, the so-called green transition and the digital transition,
  • The green transition requires investments in skills and a Europe that can both think and act green and make the transition to a resource efficient, climate neutral and circular economy,
    • Increasing the number of professionals with the skills and competences to develop green technologies, products, services and business models and create innovative solutions is critical,
  • The digital transition must be human-centric and this requires an increase in digital skills.
    • According to some estimates, in some job categories, more than 90% of jobs require specific types of digital skills.
    • COVID-19 in addition to its impact on our societies and economies has highlighted both the need of digitalisation as well as the need to acquire digital skills.
    • For example, the European Commission estimates that there is a gap of 291,000 professionals in cybersecurity.
    • The adaption of digital technologies across the whole economy, including non-technology sectors, will require a more digitally competent workforce.
  • There are several learning platforms that have emerged and can support today’s workforce and learners to acquire the skills and competences of tomorrow,
  • Depending on the platform learners can pursue anything from simply becoming familiar with a new field all the way to acquiring a certification developed by global organisations like Google and IBM and even University undergraduate and graduate degrees from prestigious universities.
  • Some of these platforms are:
    • Coursera (https://www.coursera.org/), a platform that collaborates with 200+ leading universities and companies and can support learners to “build skills with courses, certificates, and degrees online from world-class universities and companies”,
    • Edx (https://www.edx.org/), a platform with the vision of a world where every learner can access education to unlock their potential, without the barriers of cost or location,
    • Udemy (https://www.udemy.com/), a platform offering over 183.000 low cost courses,
    • Udacity (https://www.udacity.com/), a platform focused in digital skills,
    • Skillshare (https://www.skillshare.com/), a platform best suited for creative skills.
    • Learners must additionally be introduced to the complexity of today’s learning and work environment.
  • Introducing the top 10 skills of tomorrow as presented by the World Economic Forum, is a good point to exemplify how the world is shifting:
    1. Analytical thinking and innovation,
    2. Active learning and learning strategies,
    3. Complex problem solving,
    4. Critical thinking and analysis,
    5. Creativity, originality and initiative,
    6. Leadership and social influence,
    7. Technology use monitoring and control,
    8. Technology design and programming,
    9. Resilience, stress tolerance,
    10. Reasoning, problem solving and ideation. (Source:https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/10/top-10-work-skills-of-tomorrow-how-long-it-takes-to-learn-them/)