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EU Report Highlights Big Digital Skills Gap

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Figures in the latest edition of the Education and Training Monitor, published by the European Commission, reaffirm the serious gap in digital skills among people in Europe. Combining data from several studies, the report provides an overview of the state of education, training and skills in Europe and points to measures that can be taken to address the problem.

Across Europe, a lack of digital skills resulted in poor performance in studies of abilities. According to results from the OECD’s Survey of Adult Skills, referenced in the report, “more than one in four adults in the thirteen Member States that participated in the problem solving module of the survey had very low to no skills in problem solving in technology-rich environments.” Among young people aged 16 to 24, the report continues to say that ‘only half of this younger age group have an above-basic level in problem solving in a technology rich environment.”

The report emphasises the need for sustained investment in education, and policy on education and training to tackle this skills gap:

“For individuals to thrive in a modern and evolving labour market, education needs to equip people with key transversal competences. Policy efforts regarding digital competences are to be strengthened.”

The Education and Training Monitor is published annually, and can be downloaded from the European Commission.