ŠAVŠ/TAČR Digital Czechia in a Digital Europe


initiative was established in cooperation with the ESF and the Ministry of Education and Skills. It aims to increase the employment of citizens by offering free certified courses (possibility of obtaining a certificate and/or a certificate of postgraduate education) aimed at developing the skills needed for employment in promising and/or necessary sectors of the economy. Most courses are offered remotely (part-time) and last one year.The exceptions are those courses focused on ICT skills, which can take place in person for one year or remotely over two years. The courses are open to people who, after a break (e.g. parental leave, caring for a household member), existing employees seeking retraining (who contribute 10% of the total course price) and the unemployed. In addition to specific courses focusing on ICT skills as such, digital skills are given proper attention across all other sector-specific courses. 10 Since June 2018, the Dutch Digitalisation Strategy has also been paying attention to the development of the necessary digital skills of members of its adult population. 11 As in the United Kingdom and Estonia, the Dutch government also attaches a key role to the education to the digitally illiterate and under-literate citizens of the existing network of libraries and community centers. The document assumes that the costs of these courses will be covered from the budgets of local embassies. As mentioned above, virtually all countries of the European Union face a shortage of ICT professionals, both in terms of current and future needs of their economies. Although various recruitment agencies have responded promptly to the demand for ICT professionals, it is clear that they cannot solve a systemic problem. Among the reactions of the governments of selected countries of the European Union, several strategies that should interest to the Czech Republic have been identified. Let us start with the United Kingdom . It is succeeding in its recruitment of ICT experts through an initiative called Tech Nation Visa 12 . The main aim of the initiative is to attract top professionals (people who have already proven themselves on the job and are young talent) from around the world to the UK digital sector by offering work visas, valid for up to 5 years and 4 months. (The period is clearly based on the United Kingdom’s overall visa policy.) The process of processing a visa application takes place in two stages – (1) submission of the application for admission to the program and its assessment by an independent to_college/third_level_places_for_unemployed_people.html. 11 Dutch Digitalisation Strategy, Getting the Netherlands ready for the digital future, 2018, see https://www. government.nl/documents/reports/2018/06/01/dutch-digitalization-strategy. 12 Tech Nation, 2019, see https://technation.io/visa/. ADDRESSING THE LACK OF ICT SPECIALISTS

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