CEPIS Newsletter

Welcome to the CEPIS newsletter. In this issue:

CEPIS Calls for Urgent Action on Data Protection and Privacy

CEPIS has issued a statement asking for a revision of major service providers’ privacy policy to guarantee the privacy of European consumers and companies. It notes that service providers are constantly offering new or updated operating systems, services and applications. European consumers and companies have become critically dependent on these technologies, but to obtain them they are left with no alternative but to accept often stringent terms and conditions. CEPIS is concerned that, by doing so, users weaken the control they have over their own data. Furthermore, it is unclear whether these terms and conditions are always lawful and proportional. CEPIS strongly defends the principle according to which new ICT technologies should guarantee the privacy of potential users prior to their introduction. The statement makes a series of recommendations to help ensure this privacy.

To complement the full statement, a summary and press release have also been drafted. We would appreciate if you could share the statement and post it on your respective websites. An op-ed was also published on the Digital Post. Do not hesitate to contact the CEPIS Secretariat, should you have any questions or queries.

Provide Input to the Next Generation of European ICT Professional Profiles

The European ICT Professional Profiles, built using the European e-Competence Framework (e-CF), provide support to an ever-growing user community across Europe and beyond. Published in 2012 as a CEN Workshop Agreement (CWA), and updated in 2013, the 23 generic ICT profiles provide a tool to develop tailored profiles for a variety of individuals and organisations. To maintain and improve them, the CEN Workshop on ICT Skills has initiated an update. The second version is expected to be published early next year. It is imperative that all stakeholders provide their feedback on the existing profiles, so that emerging business trends be taken into account. The survey ends on 21 April.

Respond to the survey

New Project on Digital Organisational Frameworks Launched

Capgemini, empirica and IDC Italy have been awarded the contract for the development and promotion of digital organisational frameworks and ICT professionalism. The aim of the project is to contribute to the development and promotion of digital organisational frameworks and IT professionalism, to support the digital transformation affecting all European businesses. The project will perform an in-depth analysis of the situation in Europe with regard to IT organisational and management frameworks, and the importance of certification and best practices. An in-depth review of the ten most relevant frameworks will be conducted with an estimate of the benefits of using them together with the European e-Competence Framework. A secondary objective is to create general guidelines to help SMEs assess their digital capabilities. CEPIS Secretary General, Fiona Fanning, is on the steering committee for this project.

Find out more about the project

The Future of DigComp: Joint Position Paper

CEPIS, ECDL Foundation, Telecentre Europe and the European e-Skills Association (EeSA) have issued a joint position paper outlining their guidance for the European Commission with regard to the future of the European Digital Competence Framework (DigComp). DigComp is a framework intended to help develop the digital competences of European citizens. The paper calls for the European Commission to issue guidelines for national governments with recommendations on how DigComp should be interpreted and applied. It also calls for a Governance Structure to be put in place to support the appropriate usage of the framework.

Read the joint position paper

Have Your Say on the Key Competences for Lifelong Learning

The European Commission has launched a public consultation to review the 2006 Recommendation on Key Competences for Lifelong Learning. This review was announced in June 2016 as part of the European Commission’s New Skills Agenda for Europe. It aims to determine the key competences young people need to acquire to thrive in tomorrow’s labour market and in their daily lives. A shared understanding of these skills and competences will encourage their introduction in education and training. The Key Competences Framework identifies eight key competences. Digital competence, mathematical competence and basic competences in science and technology are among them.

The consultation is open until 19 May 2017. All citizens and organisations are invited to submit their views.

Take part in the public consultation

Half a Million ICT Jobs Will Still Be Vacant by 2020

The "High-Tech and Leadership Skills for Europe" conference took place in Brussels on 26 January. It provided attendees with the latest estimated figures regarding the gap between supply and demand for IT professionals in Europe by 2020, now down to 500,000, partly due to a greater number of IT professionals entering the job market from higher education and vocational training. Recent findings suggest that both the highest skills category (ICT management, architecture and analysis jobs) and the lowest (ICT mechanics and servicers) have seen considerable gains in employment over the last five years, whereas mid-level skills, especially at associate and technician level, have seen little change. The conference highlighted the need for Europe to nurture leadership skills so that companies can make the most of new digital technologies. A conservative growth scenario found that Europe needed to generate almost 400,000 additional innovation leaders by 2025. Failure to do so would leave companies with unfilled vacancies or crucial positions occupied by ill-equipped managers.

The conference presentations are available online

Celebrate IT Professionals Day on 27 April

This year, IT Professionals Day will take place on 27 April. IT Professionals Day is a celebration of the positive contribution that IT professionals make to both business and society. It gives IT professionals the occasion to recognise their worth and value, and the opportunity to support their own professional development by using their talents to improve society for everyone’s benefit. Organised since 2015 by the Irish Computer Society as part of their Tech Week initiative, it has now grown to become a pan-European initiative with the support of CEPIS, IT Professionalism Europe, the European Commission and the eSkills Malta Foundation. We are inviting you to join us by organising your own IT Professionals Day.

Please contact the CEPIS Secretariat if you wish to participate

European Commission Calls for Proposals on Sector Skills Alliances to Tackle Skills Gaps

The European Commission’s Education, Culture and Audiovisual Executive Agency (EACEA) has published a call for proposals on Sector Skills Alliances (SSA), as part of the Erasmus+ - Key Action 2. SSA seek to tackle skills gaps by identifying and developing concrete actions to match demand and supply of skills to support sector specific growth strategies.

Projects can do so by applying to one of three ‘Lots’:
1. Lot 1 - Sector Skills Alliances for skills needs
2. Lot 2 - Sector Skills Alliances for design and delivery of VET
3. Lot 3 - Sector Skills Alliances for implementing a new strategic approach (‘Blueprint’) to sectoral cooperation on skills

A particular focus must be given to digital skills, in synergy with the Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition. The total budget for the co-financing of projects is €28 million. The call is open until 2 May 2017.

Read the complete call notice

Funding Opportunity to Up- and Re-skill People at Risk of Exclusion

The European Commission has published a call for proposals on Open Knowledge Technologies: Mapping and validating knowledge. This is a preparatory action in the field of online learning and skills. The aim is to provide a European-wide learning and assessment technology system, with an emphasis on skills that would increase chances of employment. The call focuses particularly on providing a way to up- and re-skill people with little or no resources, especially migrants. The proposal should encompass the following services: 1) map skills and competences as well as routes for recognition of prior education; 2) provide specific learning roadmaps through educational services and 3) provide recognition mechanisms for new learning (certificates, badges etc.). The proposed solution is expected to contribute to the implementation of the New Skills Agenda for Europe and improve the employability of people at risk of exclusion. The deadline for submission is 30 March 2017.

Find out more and submit proposal

Improve Cybersecurity in Europe by Evaluating ENISA’s Work

The European Commission has launched a public consultation to evaluate and review the performance of the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA). The consultation also covers a possible revision of its current mandate. The aim is to help shape the next stage of the EU’s response to cyber threats. Created in 2004, ENISA has been supporting the development and implementation of the EU's policy and legislation on cybersecurity. Its aim is to assist the European Institutions, Member States and the business community, by providing cybersecurity expertise, to respond to and prevent network and information security issues. In view of the new challenges the EU faces in the field of cybersecurity, the European Commission is asking for input on cybersecurity challenges and how to address them, including the role of an EU body such as ENISA. The consultation is open until 12 April 2017.

Provide your input

Is the European Data Economy Being Built Right? Give Your Opinion

Job creation, economic growth and the progress of society in general – all these are based on data. Free movement of data is therefore of paramount importance. But are issues adequately identified and properly resolved? What are the legal, economic and regulatory challenges? The European Commission is looking for answers to these questions in a public consultation on building a European data economy. The consultation will help shape the future policy agenda and complement a possible European Commission initiative on data economy. Input is sought from businesses, NGOs, consumers, researchers, public authorities, data brokers and other stakeholders. The consultation is open until 26 April 2017.

Have your say

OECD Says IT Skills Not Sufficient

Following a Policy Forum and Ministerial Meeting held in 2015, the OECD has begun work on understanding what impact digitalisation, technological change and the development of the digital economy will have on the future of work. The changes they are bringing about raise challenges to public policy. Its latest Policy Brief on the Future of Work highlights the impact that digital transformation is having on the workplace and the skills required to function properly in it. As a consequence, skill development policies need to be revamped. Four priorities are identified:

1) strengthen initial learning so that all students possess at least basic ICT skills and other complementary ones that can support them;
2) improve the measurement and prediction of skills needs, so that appropriate education and training can be provided;
3) promote better work organisation and management practices so that employers could better use the existing skills of their workers;
4) propose further incentives to motivate workers to re-skill and up-skill.

The brief notes that skills other than purely technical ones will be needed in future to thrive in the digital economy, such as numeracy skills and the capacity to work collaboratively and flexibly. In addition, the brief remarks that there is a sizeable gender gap with regard to ICT specialists in OECD countries: 5.5% are men and only 1.4% are women. This confirms the CEPIS figures. According to the brief, ICT specialists are in high demand and have good career prospects. The brief also makes a series of recommendation for skills policies to meet the challenges of a digital world.

Read the complete policy brief

Cedefop Survey Confirms More Must Be Done to Bridge the Digital Divide

The ninth iteration of Cedefop’s European skills and jobs survey highlights that the use of ICT profoundly affects work tasks and skills requirements. It is likely that in future advanced digital skills become a prerequisite for entry into a number of jobs. The transformation of the world of work poses challenges and opportunities, and adequate policies must be implemented to ensure that all benefit from this digital revolution. Investment in higher-order ICT skills and their integration in the curricula is necessary for Europe to remain competitive in the global arena. A large part of the adjustment to technological obsolescence will take place in the work place itself, throughout continuous professional development and on-the-job learning.

Peruse the complete survey results

Proper Cybersecurity Training Could Reduce Incidents by 50%, ENISA Reports

The EU Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA) has published its 5th Annual Cyber-Threat Landscape Report – the summary of the main cyber-threats of 2016. The report summarizes the threats, showcases the achievements of the defenders and analyses attackers’ motivation, techniques and practices. According to ENISA, although a significant amount of attacks was political, the attacks have been primarily focussed on monetary gains, using phishing, ransomware, insider threat and physical manipulation/damage/loss/theft. User awareness could consequently significantly reduce the number of incidents. Better ways of obtaining information about best practices in cybersecurity to the end users must be found. The report also recommends acquainting executive management with cyber-threat intelligence, addressing the security vs. privacy dilemma and promoting dissemination of good practices on all levels.

Download the report

Highlights from CEPIS.org

  •   Assess Online Privacy Tools with New Framework by ENISA

  •   Digital Technology Still a Tool, Not a Mindset

  •   European Commission Finds Digital Skills Still Lacking in Many Countries

  •   Swiss Informatics Society Issues New Online Magazine on Informatics

  •   1st Greek Coding Bootcamp Graduates Hired Immediately

  •   Register for WCCE 2017 - World Conference on Computers in Education