Digitalisation is drastically changing the way businesses operate and the nature of the job market. 20 years ago, having ICT in the workplace was only required only by a few select ICT specialists. Moreover, the idea of having an automated machines replacing large portions of the labour force sounded like science fiction. However, flash-forward to the present day and these advancements have become a reality. The need for IT professionals is increasing. The European Commission estimates that by 2020, the gap between demand and supply of ICT practitioners will reach 500 000.
So what does digitalisation mean for Europe and what role can the e-CF play in helping the business and the individuals adapt to digitalisation? To answer this, one must first examine the current impact of digitalisation on European firms and the labour market and then analyse how the e-CF can optimise the process. Overall, the e-CF hold promise in offering solutions to digitalisation.
Digitalisation is transforming the way individuals are employed, the way business operates, and the way in which we work. A recent report from the European Economic and Social Committee outlines that with the rise of online platforms and remote operation, individuals and businesses now enjoy a larger degree of flexibility concerning how tasks are completed and where. As digitalisation increases, companies can cut down on overhead cost by taking advantage of technological advances like storing files digitally requiring less space and eliminating the need for physical space.
The report also highlights how individuals are benefiting from being able to complete work from home and how businesses can expand more easily as digitalisation has lowered market entry barriers and gives access to a large pool of recruits. However, while these are just some of the benefits to be offered by digitalisation, it is not without its challenges. Much like the how the development electricity replaced gas lamps, many low and middle-skill jobs are being phased out due to automation, and in their place, and we see a rise in the demand for digital skills.
As the requirements of the labour market shift, many people will need to adapt to remain relevant. This presents the challenge of addressing the ICT skill gap and readapting the current labour force. The current ICT professional skills gap is already impeding businesses, with Eurostat current statistics reporting that approximately 40% of companies searching for ICT candidates had difficulties finding them. This makes knowing gaps in one’s ICT professional skills essential as it helps individuals to identify key skills that they need to stay competitive in the job market and help businesses understand the needs within their workforce. This is where the e-CF role becomes invaluable.
e-CF provides a standardised framework to both the benefit of individuals and businesses by providing criteria for ICT skills. The e-CF identifies 5 ICT areas and the 40 competencies within them. The framework eliminates any vagueness amongst its users allowing for essential skills, that one has or needs, to be discerned instantly. This allows for individuals to obtain specific certificates or training easily, thus making the transition into markets, that are focused on digitally skills, easier.
As the e-CF identifies and provides a standardised framework for increasingly desirable ICT professional skills, individuals and businesses are going to benefit being more specialised and well equipped to deal with digitalisation. This is why we at ITPE are committed to proliferating the e-CF across Europe and the ICT Profession.