Target 4.4: Skills for work
By 2030, substantially increase the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship
CREDIT: Amanda Nero/IOM. Every beneficiary of a Cash for Work programme delivered by the IOM has the opportunity to take literacy lessons for three months.
The global and thematic indicators on ICT and digital literacy aim to capture skills beyond literacy and numeracy that are becoming almost universally important for the world of work. The indicators require governments to consider skills acquisition outside school.
The global indicator on youth and adults with ICT skills draws on household survey self-reporting of selected activities in the previous three months. The latest ITU data show that copying and attaching files to emails are the only skills that more than one out of three respondents exercised in typical middle income countries; the respective rates were 58% and 70% in high income countries (Figure 10). Programming remains a minority activity even in the latter.
Figure 10: ICT skills remain unequally distributed
The thematic indicator on digital literacy skills goes well beyond the ability to use ICT equipment. A new global framework for digital literacy extends the European Commission’s DigComp framework to include a wider, increasingly complex set of use examples reflecting the cultural, economic and technology settings of low and middle income countries, e.g. skills farmers require to make farming and trading decisions using a mobile phone service, buy and sell products via smartphone app or build a data-driven irrigation system using moisture sensors linked to a laptop.
Identifying cost-effective tools to measure these competences remains the greatest challenge. Digital literacy assessments vary by purpose, target group, items, delivery, cost and responsible authority. A French example offering citizens free access to a digital skills assessment, diagnosis of strengths and weaknesses and recommendations for learning resources may be a way forward.
Assessing entrepreneurship competences, a target 4.4 focus for which no indicator has been developed, faces similar challenges. Social and emotional skills, including perseverance and self-control, are among a wide range of entrepreneurial skills, but measuring them requires caution in interpreting variation across cultures. The OECD is developing an international Study on Social and Emotional Skills among 10- and 15-year-olds.
Three in ten adults do not know how to attach files to emails in high income countries
Previous year’s Target 4.4