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International Mobility is Essential to Reduce Skills Mismatches

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It can be hard to figure out how to compare qualifications that come from different education systems or countries. Differing terminology due to differences in language and the wide variety of vocational courses, from apprenticeships to technical certifications from university, can get in the way of the simple task of working out whether someone is qualified for a job or a course of study. When a holder of a Master’s degree from Belgium is more highly qualified than a ‘Dottore’ from Italy, it is no wonder that confusion exists! Even though it might seem like an abstract problem, the challenge of comparing qualifications can make things difficult for people moving abroad for work or study, and for employers trying to assess candidates for a job.

One answer to the problem is a qualifications framework, a tool that defines levels of education or training, and allows qualifications and certifications to be compared based on those levels. In European countries, there are National Qualifications Frameworks, and they are designed for easy comparison by being ‘mapped’ to a Europe-wide framework, the European Qualifications Framework. Now, instead of guessing that a ‘Dottore’ might possibly have a PHD, you can look at the framework, and see that it means that the person has achieved a Batchelor’s degree.

While it might seem like there are lots of frameworks flying around here, the concept is surprisingly simple. We have just published a short brochure that explains things in more detail. You can download it here. In Europe, thirty countries have a National Qualifications Framework, and around the world, there are many countries and regions that have, or are developing, their own frameworks. In fact, over 150 countries and territories worldwide are involved in developing qualifications frameworks!

While qualifications frameworks are indispensable for comparing qualifications from different countries, they also highlight the international nature of certifications like ECDL. ECDL and ICDL are used in more than 100 countries, and are available in more than 40 languages, making them leading internationally recognised certifications. Thanks to National Qualifications Frameworks, it is easy to see where ECDL and ICDL fit in different national education and training systems. The programmes are mapped to a number of National Qualifications Frameworks, including in the UK, Malta, Singapore, Australia and Vietnam. These national frameworks are then mapped to regional frameworks, like the European Qualifications Framework in Europe, or the ASEAN Qualifications Reference Framework in South East Asia.

In Europe, ECDL has been mapped to the National Qualifications Frameworks of Ireland, England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Malta and Scotland. Outside of Europe, it has been mapped or referenced to National Qualifications Frameworks in Australia, Iran, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand, and Vietnam. In addition to these mappings and referencing, ECDL and ICDL have been endorsed by governments in a number of countries.

The world is a diverse place, and education and training are no different. Thanks to qualifications frameworks, the mobility of workers and students across borders is becoming easier than ever before. ECDL, as a truly international certification, facilitates this mobility with digital skills training that fits your needs and that can follow you across borders.