As a Digital Frontrunner country, Belgium is committed to the the digitisation of the workplace, and consistently performs near the top in such rankings. In order to reap the benefits of this digital transformation, the country will need to address the shortage of skilled professionals it is experiencing; this Spotlight highlights the country’s innovative efforts to do so.
It’s a response to the fact that it performs just slightly above the EU average when it comes to equipping citizens with ‘basic’ digital skills. It ranks 12th in the human capital category, struggling particularly in the number of STEM graduates.
As illustrated by the initiatives in this Spotlight, Belgium is committed to boosting its performance in these areas and delivering the digital skills training required to prepare the workforce for the digital era. Crucially, a number of recently launched initiatives focus on an inclusive, user-centred approach that seek to include people from all backgrounds.
Many of the initiatives featured in this article highlight the need to go beyond developing basic digital skills, with an emphasis on developing entrepreneurial know-how for example. Fostering such skills will lead to a more resilient workforce, capable of adapting to the changes that come with an increasingly digital workplace.
The main driving force behind these efforts is called Digital Belgium, a strategy initiated by the Belgian Government in 2015. The strategy has incorporated three goals for 2020 which address several gaps in the labour market:
The government has also invested 6 million euros in digital skills training on a yearly basis to address the skills shortage. The Digital Champions website compiles all the digital skills initiatives in Belgium and offers a glimpse of what is currently happening in this field.
In this Spotlight blog we outline several of these initiatives, exemplifying Belgium’s efforts to upskill its workforce.
"The digital revolution is an opportunity revolution. Anyone can make it into the digital world, if you have the right skills”The Deputy Prime Minister Alexander de Croo
This Spotlight blog was co-written by Karoliina Helkkula.