Eine Frau lächelt freudig auf ihr Smartphone, hinter ihr ist ein Feuerwerk zu sehen, links ist die Digital Austria-Fahne eingeblendet.

SEIZING THE OPPORTUNITIES OF DIGITALISATION TOGETHER

DIGITAL SKILLS INITIATIVE
FOR AUSTRIA

OeAD office for digital skills opened

As of 12 October, the Digital Skills Office has been established and can begin its work. It is part of the OeAd, Austria's Agency for Education and Internationalisation.

In Austria, around 63% of the 16- to 74-year-old population have basic digital skills. This puts us nine percentage points above the EU-27 average. The European Commission's goal is that at least 80% of the 16- to 74-year-old population of the EU member states should have at least basic digital skills by 2030.


4500 workshops throughout Austria

In 2024 we are ensuring together with the OeAD Digital Skills Office, that 4500 digitisation workshops "Digital Everywhere" for basic digital skills will be implemented in all Austrian municipalities.

The office will also be involved in implementing the work programme of the Digital Skills Initiative. This also includes the development and implementation of a standardised digital skills model.

icon JOINT ACTIVITIES

The work programme of the "Digital Skills Campaign for Austria" is continuously developed together with all stakeholders.

 

It is implemented via an office for digital skills, which has been set up in Austria's Agency for Education and Internationalisation (OeAD).

 

At the "Digital Skills Summit", the impact of measures taken is evaluated and approaches are further developed.

Cooperation partners for providers

In addition to contributing to the implementation of the Digital Skills Initiative and the digital skills model, the office's work programme until 2026 also includes a concept for quality assurance and certification of digital skills, the establishment of a Digital Skills Network involving stakeholders and initiatives, and active positioning in the European Commission's Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition.

The Digital Decade


Shaping Europe's digital future together

The Digital Decade 2030 is the EU's digitisation strategy and defines objectives and paths for the digital transformation in Europe by 2030. The sustainable and people-centred version aims to strengthen the digital society, citizens and companies. The policy programme of the Digital Decade is based on the Digital Compass. The Digital Compass defines digital skills and competences as one of the four dimensions for the future.

The four goals of the digital compass:
  1. Skills: Building a digitally skilled population and highly qualified digital specialists
  2. Infrastructures: Building a secure and sustainable digital infrastructure
  3. Business: Digitisation of companies
  4. Public Services: Digitisation of public services

The Commission will realise the EU's digital ambitions for 2030:
  • Targets at EU level and target paths at EU and national level
  • a common governance framework to monitor progress and address weaknesses
  • Multi-country projects with combined investments by the EU, the Member States and the private sector

icon DIGITAL SKILLS INDICATOR (DSI)

The Digital Skills Indicator (DSI) forms the basis on which the strategic priorities for promoting digital skills in society, business and education are built.

 

As part of the digital skills campaign, Statistics Austria has produced an initial assessment in the form of an analysis report. Based on the results, the first measures of the digital skills campaign were designed.

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With the Digital Skills Initiative, Austria pooled all forces for more digital skills and for the first time established a holistic stakeholder initiative supported by four departments (BMF, BMKOES, BMAW, BMBWF).

Digital Skills Initiative

23.2.2023: Start of the implementation of the "Digital Skills Initiative for Austria"

At the joint press conference, Vice Chancellor Werner Kogler, State Secretary Florian Tursky, AK President Renate Anderl and Austrian Economic Chamber Deputy Secretary General Mariana Kühnel gave the starting signal for the implementation.

The digital skills model makes digital expertise transparent for employers, employees and providers and promotes digital development.
The initiative, which is supported by the BMF, BMKOES, BMAW and BMBWF, aims to improve basic digital skills in the population and IT skills for the economy in a targeted manner. Surveys such as the European DESI Index show the need for action in Austria. In a "national digital tour de force", according to State Secretary Florian Tursky, all stakeholders and initiatives in Austria are being brought together to improve digital skills.

Menschen sitzen in einem Raum zusammen und besprechen
icon 1. Advisory Board 23.2.2023

Common "currency" for digital skills

Ministries, federal states, social partners, cities and municipalities, companies and education providers will work together in a strategically coordinated manner on the topic of digital skills in the future with scientific support.

 

The kick-off meeting took place after the starting signal. A key project of the digital skills initiative is the Austrian skills model for digital skills "DigComp 2.3 AT".

DIGITAL QUALIFICATION REQUIREMENTS

According to the DESI index, around 30-40% of the population between the ages of 16 and 74 lack basic digital skills. Large gaps in knowledge, especially in general basics and IT security. At the same time, the need for digital qualifications in business and the world of work is increasing. As a result, SMEs are often unable to utilise digital technologies sufficiently. Other challenges for digital fitness are generational, gender and urban-rural gaps.

Making Austria a pioneer in digital skills

Joint initiative of the BMF, BMKOES, BMAW and BMBWF : By 2030, as many people as possible in Austria should have basic digital skills - existing initiatives of all ministries should be strengthened in a targeted manner.

Through the initiative coordinated by Florian Tursky, State Secretary for Digitisation and Telecommunications at the Federal Ministry of Finance, the Federal Government is responding comprehensively to the existing need for digital qualifications.

In order for Austria to benefit from the economic and ecological advantages of digitisation, the breadth and depth of digital skills in society, business and administration are indispensable.

The "Digital Skills Campaign for Austria" was presented on 7 December 2022 by Vice-Chancellor Werner Kogler (BMKOES) and the Federal Ministers Magnus Brunner (BMF), Martin Kocher (BMAW) and Martin Polaschek (BMBWF).

With this campaign under the European umbrella of the "Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition" (DSJC), we want to make Austria one of the European pioneers in the field of digital skills and establish a strong European axis.

Fields of action

The "Digital Skills Initiative" bundles the quality-assured teaching of basic digital skills among the population and in various fields of activity, such as among ICT experts, in education, among citizens, in the world of work and business and in public administration.

The fields of action include the following areas:


Icons mit Handlungsfelder der Digitalen Kompetenzoffensive

Goals and measures


Teaching digital skills

The aim is to teach digital skills to everyone. The cross-departmental digital skills campaign ensures that forces are pooled and the digital skills of citizens are increased in a joint strategy.

We want to make all Austrians digitally fit by 2030. The measures range from the funding of future training and further education for all interested parties to a standardised competence level and
certification system.

Strengthen basic digital skills

as many people in Austria as possible with basic digital skills. The "Digital Skills Initiative" therefore bundles the quality-assured teaching of basic digital skills in the population and in various fields of action (primarily ICT experts, education, citizens, employees, companies and public administration)

Increase proportion of IT specialists

Increase the proportion of IT specialists and especially female IT specialists

Talent development

Promoting digital talent

National reference framework for digital skills

Introduction of a national reference framework for digital skills to make them measurable and comparable.

Role model for the public sector

By strengthening the digital skills of administrative staff, we are further expanding the basis for a modern, service-orientated state.

"Digital Skills for All" initiative November and December 2023

As an immediate measure of the digital skills offensive, around 800 workshops for digital beginners were held nationwide from October to December 2023 with the pilot project “Digital Skills for All”.

Over 8,500 interested people took part in the free workshop offer.
A total of 36 education providers carried out the workshops on the main topics of digital senior education, e-government and (safe) use of digital media for parents and young people.

Digital skills dialogues

Staatssekretär Florian Tursky (links) und der Landeshauptmann von Vorarlberg, Markus Wallner (rechts), geben sich die Hand, um den Digital Austria Pact abzuschließen.  Quelle: vorarlberg.at/presse, A. Serra

The "Digital Skills Dialogues" initiated by the Digital Skills Campaign took place in the federal states in spring 2023. The aim of the dialogues was to strengthen joint cooperation between the federal and state governments in the area of digital skills. The Digital Austria Pact was concluded as the basis for the cooperation. The dialogues started on 3 March in Dornbirn, with the last event taking StS Florian Turksy to Klagenfurt on 26 May.

A total of 145 measures from the federal states were collected at the Digital Skills Dialogues, and many good practices were presented as a learning field for the federal government and other federal states.

In addition to the topics of cross-sectional measures (overarching strategy development, database, digital skills network, awareness-raising, certification), funding and IT specialists, the focus of the workshops was on low-threshold, target group-orientated measures to promote digital skills:

  • broad basic qualification,
  • "Train the Trainer" programmes and the
  • Further training/professional qualification.
A summary can be seen in the Bundesländer-Tour-Video (YouTube).


Dates of the Digital Skills Dialogues

Starting in March 2023 in Vorarlberg and stopped on the 26th of May 2023 in Carinthia

Digital Austria Pact of the Digital Skills Initiative

Successful digital transformation offers Austria great opportunities for new value creation, jobs, sustainable quality of life and social participation. The prerequisite for utilising all these opportunities is the broad anchoring of digital skills in society, business and administration. The pooling of all forces and the implementation of transparent quality standards for digital skills create important foundations for jointly advancing digital skills development in Austria.

With this in mind, the federal government's Digital Skills Campaign Austria (DKO) pursues the goals that

• by 2030, as many people in Austria as possible will have basic digital skills,

• the proportion of IT specialists and especially female IT specialists will be increased and digital talents will be promoted in order to meet the economy's need for skilled workers and to make the best possible use of the growth potential of digitisation,

• digital skills will be made measurable and comparable with the introduction of a national reference framework.

Securing digital skills together

Against this background, the supporters of the Digital Austria Pact of the Digital Skills Campaign Austria are committed to

→ strengthening awareness of the crucial importance of digital skills in all areas of life and business ,

contribute to closing the existing "digital gap" and support digital accessibility for the secure participation of all people, regardless of age, income or impairment,

→ improve the digital basic skills of all citizens, so that they can benefit as much as possible from the diverse opportunities of digitisation - also in the area of administration,

→ to inspire as many people as possible - especially girls and women - for digital training and professions and to support their ongoing further education in the sense of lifelong learning,
→ to support already active employees from all industries and sectors as well as jobseekers in securing or expanding their professional skills through digital skills,

→ actively promote qualification in companies
,
→ intensify cooperation and networking between state and non-state actors to promote digital skills,

→ to ensure a transparent and reliable standard for digital skills at the various skill levels by using and disseminating the digital skills modelfor Austria - DigComp AT, and

→ to support the digital skills offensive for Austria as a platform for the strategically sound further developmentof digital skills in Austria.

Digital Skills Summit

The "Digital Skills Summit" marked the conclusion of the federal/state strategy development process and is a visible sign of national solidarity. The jointly developed "Strategy of Digital Skills in Austria" and its key points and guiding measures were presented at the event.


icon Digital Skills Summit 13.6.2023

The "Digital Skills Summit" marked the conclusion of the federal/state strategy development process.
The jointly developed "Digital Skills Strategy" with the most important key points and measures was presented in advance at the press conference by Finance Minister Magnus Brunner and State Secretary Florian Tursky and presented at the summit.

Strategy digital skills in Austria

Together into the future!

The acquisition and further development of citizens' personal digital skills is an essential prerequisite for successful digitisation. The joint strategy sets targeted priorities and measures for society, business and administration. 

You can also find the entire strategy paper in the download area

The skills package for Austria

Joining forces to promote digital skills

With the Digital Skills Campaign, Austria pooled all forces for more digital skills and for the first time established a holistic stakeholder initiative supported by four departments (BMF, BMKOES, BMAW, BMBWF).

The "Strategy Digital Skills for Austria" of the Digital Skills Initiative was developed in a nationwide dialogue process with more than 500 experts and stakeholders from 80 institutions. Around 350 measures and initiatives were identified, clustered and bundled.

On this basis, the "Strategy Digital Skills for Austria" sets eight strategic priorities in a skills package with specific measures for the further development of digital skills.


1. Introducing a frame of reference

Austria will receive a national competence framework for digital skills, which will be introduced jointly.

2. Low-threshold education

Low-threshold offers are being further developed in a target group-orientated manner. This is done with the "Digital Everywhere" workshop programme for basic skills in every municipality in Austria and with the "Digital Everywhere PLUS" development programme.

3. Train the trainers

The "Train the Trainer" concept is intended to support stakeholders in the (adult) education landscape in teaching digital skills. To this end, information events and workshops are organised for educational institutions, IT trainers and multipliers

4. Utilising best practices

To make the best possible use of existing resources, best practices for teaching digital skills are identified, scaled and offered nationwide.

5. Public sector as a role model

As an education provider, the public sector should also fulfil its exemplary role in teaching digital skills. The national reference framework will be introduced at the Academy of Finance and the Academy of Public Administration, among others.

6. train IT specialists

To counteract the shortage of IT specialists, an "IT Experts" funding call will support innovative implementation ideas to combat the shortage of IT specialists

7. accompany AI in the world of work

The spread of AI in the world of work is to be accompanied by cross-departmental measures on the topic of "digital skills and AI". To this end, experts are developing recommendations and a roadmap.

8. Being an international pioneer

Austria's pioneering role in teaching and recognising digital skills is also reflected in its participation in international initiatives. Austria is participating in the piloting of the European Digital Skills Certificate (EDSC), for example.

COMPETENCE PACKAGE AT THE HEART OF THE STRATEGY

"With the competence package for digital skills, we are providing strong impetus and concrete incentives for federal states, educational institutions, business and society to further develop the digital skills that are important for successful digitisation on the basis of a uniform skills model. The whole of Austria will benefit from this - it will sustainably advance the location and its competitiveness."

Finance Minister Magnus Brunner and State Secretary Florian Tursky