Free digital skills development program to be launched in Baltic States

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Microsoft in collaboration with Baltic universities has launched a new digital skills improvement program, Latvian Radio reported December 8.

The Baltic Digital Skills Development Program will begin in January 2021. The working language is English and participation is free.

Head of the Innovation Centre of the University of Latvia (LU), Professor Signe Bāliņa, said that remote work contributes to the digitization and automation of many processes. Not only is the working environment changing, but also the educational process itself, and it is important to learn digital skills in addition to basic education.

Newswire LETA journalist Inguna Ukenābele said that data show European citizens are more optimistic about their digital skills than experts. An Eurobarometer survey shows that 70% of Europeans assess their digital skills as good.

“A slightly different scene is revealed up if we look at an index of the digital economy and society made from a job perspective – whether skills are sufficient to be used at work. Their assessment is based on whether people can use electronic mail, editing tools, or how to install new programs and equipment. Then that score doesn't look so rosy. 58% of Europe's population has basic skills, above the basic level only 33% of Europeans.

Unfortunately, only 43% of individuals in Latvia have basic skills but 24% above the basic level. That's pretty low if we know we have very good Internet coverage and good opportunities to use different digital solutions.

At the same time, maybe a pandemic will change something, because now many people are forced to work and learn remotely. Consequently, we will have learned a lot more about digital matters at this time,” the journalist said.

The digital skills development program will offer a choice of four courses: business analysis, data analysis, development of no-code and low-code programs, and development of application. You can read more about the course on LU Innovation Center website, where you will also find the application form.

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