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Acquiring Digital Skills with the Support of the European Union

The introduction to the EU Council Recommendation of 22 May 2018 on key competences for lifelong learning states that:

‘The European Pillar of Social Rights states as its first principle that everyone has the right to quality and inclusive education, training and lifelong learning in order to maintain and acquire skills that allow full participation in society and successful transitions in the labour market. It also states the right of everyone ‘to timely and tailor-made assistance to improve employment or self-employment prospects, to training and re-qualification, to continued education and to support for job search’. Fostering the development of competences is one of the aims of the vision towards a European Education Area that would be able ‘to harness the full potential of education and culture as drivers for jobs, social fairness, active citizenship as well as means to experience European identity in all its diversity.’

In consideration of all of the above, the European Union has adopted the recommendation that Member States should: ‘support the right to quality and inclusive education, training and lifelong learning and ensure opportunities for all to develop key competences by making full use of the ‘Key Competences for Lifelong Learning" support the development of key competences and facilitate their acquisition by paying attention to: raising the level of achievement of basic skills (literacy, numeracy and basic digital skills) and supporting the development of learning to learn competence as a constantly improved basis for learning and participation in society in a lifelong perspective; Digital skills are thus rightfully part of the eight key competences set out in the Reference Framework, alongside Literacy competence, Multilingual competence, Mathematical competence and competence in science, technology and engineering [...].

According to the European Union, this revised definition of digital skills further leads to the notion of Digital Literacy, i.e. ‘the confident, critical and responsible use of, and engagement with, digital technologies for learning, at work, and for participation in society. It includes information and data literacy, communication and collaboration, media literacy, digital content creation (including programming), safety (including digital well-being and competences related to cybersecurity), intellectual property related questions, problem solving and critical thinking.