Norway lags behind in digitalisation
If we want to avoid people falling out of work and society because of digitalisation, we need a better and more flexible training offer.
“More than half of adult Norwegians today feel the need to strengthen their digital skills, both in their daily lives and at work. A digitized society places high demands on our skills, and we must expect that the requirements will continue to increase.
We learn to use digital tools and services in different ways, and we have different desires for how to develop our skills. If we are to avoid people falling out of work and society because of digitalisation, it is crucial that we get a better and more flexible training offer in place.
Digital skills are required
Find bus routes. Stream music. Book a holiday trip. Use a new computer system at work. Finding contact information for the one you want to get hold of. Assess the source of news items shared on social media. Change GP. Upload photos. Pay bills.
We meet the need for digital skills every day, both in everyday life and at work. It is difficult to participate in today’s society without using digital tools and services. Although 90 per cent of the population uses the internet daily, digitization also places demands on how we use the technology. Requirements to be able to safeguard safety, have a net diet and evaluate ethical issues have increased particularly in recent years.
It is not necessarily the case that skills gained from private use of digital tools and services are transferable to the demands of the working life. Requirements for digital skills in working life will to a large extent depend on what education and work tasks one has, while in daily life the same requirements are set for all of us.
We can enjoy the fact that community development provides more efficient and accessible services, as long as we master their use. Most of us still notice the need for better digital skills.
Need to strengthen the skills
Six out of ten adults experience a need in their daily lives to enhance their digital skills. At the same time, six out of ten employees experience the same at work.
There are several Norwegians today who think they need better digital skills in daily life than it was eight years ago. Now, about half or more of all age groups report a need for competence raising in this arena.
The recognition of the need for better digital skills at work is also present in all age groups. Employees with the lowest education do not experience it as much as those with higher education. Employees who use digital tools at work experience it to a greater extent than those who do not use it. At the same time, more than 90 per cent of the employees employs digital tools in their work.
If we look more closely at the basic skills that the population needs to strengthen, it is particularly related to safety and networking. Today, the use of digital tools and services does not relate to knowledge of digital protection.
People who have a lot of experience with digital tasks and services feel a greater need for expertise than those with little experience. It may, therefore, appear that the population, which is largely exposed to the digital world, realizes that we must expect constant changes and changes.
Perhaps it is a new payment app or a new computer system at work that makes us feel the need to strengthen our digital skills. Perhaps we are beginning to notice the security challenges that come with the technology, or perhaps there is news about automation and robotics in the workplace that affects us. At least, there are indications that the demand for training is great.
Need for different training offers
Most people want to develop their digital skills on their own and through guidance from friends and family. Many at the same time wish to have offers for training. We utilize several different methods when we learn to use digital tools and services. For example, we can read manuals, be guided by colleagues and attend courses. Many combine as much as five or more methods. We learn in different ways in different areas, and we want different training offers.
Eight out of ten employees want to develop their digital skills at work, through courses offered by the employer. Half of those who are unemployed and those under education also want to learn in the workplace. At the same time, the majority of students state that they want education through the education system.
Unemployed people want to attend courses offered by non-governmental organizations, libraries and the public to a greater extent than others. Elderly people want an education at libraries to a greater extent than younger ones. Attending courses you pay for yourself is something every fifth person can think of.
While many want to develop their digital skills, some find that a lack of education and training is an obstacle. Increased digitization imposes higher demands on the population and, in the worst case scenario, can lead to people falling outside working life or society in general. The need to develop digital skills and the demand for training offers is present and needs to be addressed. There are, however, few signs that the need will be less.”
~ Adviser, Kompetanse Norge, Camilla Hovind Ulven
© Kompetanse Norge / #Norway Today
This chronicle was first published by forskning.no.