Pathways4employ kicks off in Bilbao!

We are starting a new exciting project called Pathways4employ! It’s about digital skills, entrepreneurship, DigComp and employment, all at once.

Pathways4employ project partners

What are we going to do?

We will identify what digital skills people need if they want to become entrepreneurs or to work remotely in today’s digital economy and society. Sure thing, this depends on the field in which they want to work – digital entrepreneurs need more digital skills than agriculture entrepreneurs. And people working remotely – we call them virtual office workers – for an IT company should possess ICT skills on the higher end of the spectrum.

But at the same time all entrepreneurs and all virtual office workers need to have a number of digital skills that are specific and indispensable to survive in their role, whatever the field. An example – all of them have to: use online collaboration tools; protect their online safety; manage their time efficiently with the help of online time management tools, etc. etc.

So our aim is to find exactly those indispensable skills that everybody needs. Not an easy task, is it?

But we will not stop there! We will then develop competence profiles (pathways) to guide those people to their goal of becoming entrepreneur or virtual office worker (be employed). Hence, the title of the project – Pathways4employ.

We will give them an assessment tool to check which of those indispensable skills they already have and will award them with badges, so that employers or partners can recognise them. This will happen on a trusted online platform where they will complete practical tasks and challenges, having fun and feeling more confident.

How are we going to do it?

First of all, we will step on the European Digital Competence Framework for Citizens (DigComp) which will provide the common language and terminology to make sure that we are all talking about the same thing.

We are seven partners in this endeavour – the internationally known Spanish technological and research foundation Tecnalia, the Institute for Entrepreneurship Development from Greece, Latvian SIA Digital Media Group, Telecentre Europe and three of our member organisations – FIT ltd. from Ireland, and Spanish KZ Gunea and Guadalinfo from Basque country and Andalusia respectively. Why so many Spanish partners? Spain has a long history supporting public telecentres where anyone can go, use computers and the Internet for free and learn digital skills. Everyone in Spain knows what a telecentre is. Spain also has a solid track record in using DigComp. The Basque Government’s IKANOS project, our inspiration, is the most elaborated example of practical application of DigComp. It is a multi-faceted tool which includes a self-assessment test, a competence profile, a learning path and a certification. The self-assessment test can be used by anyone, while the competence profile defines the digital skills needed to working in the public field in Spain – from public administrators through teachers to doctors and social workers. We will build on this experience to develop the competence profiles and assessment tool for entrepreneurs and virtual office workers.

What’s next?

We are ambitious, but we will go one step at a time. So, the first stage of the project is to see what digital skills entrepreneurs and virtual office workers need. Partners already have a lot of experience in this, but we will also consult with other experts – trainers, representatives of companies and the entrepreneurs and virtual office workers themselves. If you want to contribute with your knowledge, please do not hesitate to drop an e-mail to Gabriela gabriela.ruseva@telecentre-europe.org. We will soon publish the online survey as well.

On the photo – Pathways4employ project partners