ŠAVŠ/TAČR Digital Czechia in a Digital Europe
Development of Digital Skills and Addressing the Shortage of ICT Specialists Karel Pavlica The importance of digital literacy and ICT skills is constantly growing. This fact is already reflected in the OECD report from 2016. 1 Among other things, it shows that on average more than 50% of the adult population (54% in the Czech Republic) in the 28 OECD member countries can manage only the simplest computer tasks (e.g. writing e-mails and searching the web) or have no computer skills at all. Furthermore, it was found that only a third of the labor force have more advanced skills that allow them to evaluate and solve problems. In other words, workers regularly use digital technologies, but in the vast majority of cases without the appropriate knowledge and skills, thus doing so in an inefficient and dangerous way (for them and their surroundings). The younger generation were better off – 42% of workers between the ages of 25 and 34 were/are able to perform more complex activities, such as creating and using online forms. A more recent document on the level of development of digital skills in the Czech Republic is a report prepared by MEDIAN Company for the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs in 2017. 2 The use of a personal computer or the Internet are considered among the key indicators of computer literacy. In this respect, the Czech Republic is “in the middle” of the European Union rankings – about 80% of people use a personal computer or the Internet. (Ahead of the Czech Republic are Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria. Behind it are Slovakia, Ireland, Spain, Slovenia and Italy.) However, it is not specified how often, for what purpose, etc., people use the computer and the Internet, which challenges the informative value of the findings. In addition, the mere fact of using a computer and/or the Internet says nothing about the level and effectiveness of the behavior. Our conclusion is confirmed by another finding of the report of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, according to which the citizens of the Czech Republic most often use the Internet for e-mails, 1 Policy Brief on the Future of Work, Skills for a Digital world, OECD, 2016, see http://www.oecd. org/ officialdocuments/publicdisplaydocumentpdf/?cote=DSTI/ICCP/IIS(2015)10/FINAL&docLanguage=En. 2 Digitální gramotnost, Zpráva o stavu a výuce digitální gramotnosti a komparace se zahraničím, MPSV, 2017, see https://www.mpsv.cz/files/clanky/33922/Digitalni_gramotnost__-_Zprava_o_stavu_a_vyuce_ digitalni_gramotnosti_a_komparace_se_zahranicim.pdf.
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