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UNESCO: Digital skills for life and work

The report highlights the emergence of a new global skills gap where gender, class, geography and age can have a huge impact on whether a person is able to harness new technologies or not. It also presents strategies for ensuring all groups of people can develop these skills.

Drafted by the Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development's Working Group on Education, chaired by Ms. Irena Bokova, Director General of Unesco, and John Galvin, Vice-President of Intel, the report identifies essential digital skills and competencies from basic skills to high-level professional skills.

Findings show that the development of these digital skills depends on a number of factors such as appropriate involvement of government, blending traditional ‘non-digital’ education approaches and digital applications, bridging formal and non-formal digital skills provision, and enhancing the digital competencies of teachers.

The report also focuses special attention to the often overlooked ‘complementary’ skills required to navigate technology-driven societies, such as an understanding of privacy considerations; knowledge of how to engage as responsible digital citizens; and awareness of how digital technology, big data and algorithms are shaping society.

Included in the report are policy recommendations that advice for governments to:

- Maintain public involvement in the increasingly commercially driven space of digital skills development.

- Redouble efforts to address inequalities in the provision of digital skills and competencies.

- Generate increased data on digital skills across populations to identify and fill gaps through education.

- Promote open digital resources and address needs not met by commercial providers.

- Foster partnerships with various stakeholders—including industry partners—to expand and improve the quality and relevance of digital skills development initiatives.

Also included in the report is a compendium of case studies illustrating successful examples of public and private sector working together in Africa, Asia, Europe and North America to ensure that all people have the skills and competencies they need to participate in the knowledge-based economy of the future.





Knowledge Products

Research papers and syntheses


Anticipating future skills needs

Subject Tags

Skills anticipation
Skills and training policy

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