PROJECT "READY FOR DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION"
An expert team within the project “Ready for Digital Transformation,” implemented by the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) in partnership with the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy (MLSP) and the Confederation of Independent Trade Unions in Bulgaria (CITUB), has developed eighty-seven standards for digital skills and competencies required for key positions in enterprises across sixteen sectors of the economy, as announced by the Chamber.
The project is funded by the Operational Programme “Human Resources Development” 2014-2020 and aims to enhance specific digital skills of the workforce in sixteen economic activities/sub-activities according to the Classification of Economic Activities 2008.
The development of competency profiles was preceded by analyses of the needs for digital skills in the sixteen sectors included in the project. The analyses revealed that only 19% of employees meet the required level of digital competence for their key positions.
Studies show that 53% of employers seek workers with an advanced level of basic digital competencies, while 14% require a highly specialized level. 31% would accept workers with a moderate level of basic digital competencies, and only 2% with a basic level. Regarding specific digital competencies, 59% of employers require an advanced level, 16% require a highly specialized level, 20% require a moderate level, and 5% require a basic level.
In other words, nearly 70% of the required proficiency levels in the profiles are for “advanced” and “highly specialized” levels of digital competence. This indicates the changing nature of work, the evolving nature of tasks performed in the workplace, and the increasing demands for digital skills in the transition to digitized jobs.
Against this backdrop, 38% of employees in the surveyed economic sectors possess only basic digital competence – minimal digital skills associated with the use of widely applicable standardized software products and digital technologies such as Windows, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, internet use, digital communication platforms, etc. This reflects the quality and outcomes of basic education and vocational training.
Over 40% of the surveyed individuals have some degree of difficulty with digital skills, which inevitably affects the quality of their work, employability, and their ability to successfully transition in the labor market. Around 15% of the surveyed individuals face deepening problems with digital skills, which brings them closer to labor market exclusion, digital isolation, social and digital inequality.
According to the experts engaged in the BCCI project, the requirements for digital competence will continue to increase. The level of digital skills lags behind the pace and dynamics of the rising labor market demands. Mass training in basic digital competencies will somewhat improve the situation but will not meet the real needs of enterprises and employees.
Digital skills for the workforce