As part of a set of proposals focused on boosting key competences and digital skills, the European Commission has announced the setting up of a Digital Education Action Plan, which outlines how the European Union (EU) will be able to help citizens, educational institutions and education systems to better adapt to life and work in an increasingly digital age. 

The main idea is to achieve stronger adaptability through better use of digital technology for teaching and learning, the development of essential digital competences and skills, as well as the improvement of education systems through data analysis. 

A factsheet accompanying the Proposal highlighted digital skills as vital to 90% of future jobs, a far cry from what the current workforce can cater for.  At this stage, 44% of Europeans are considered as lacking basic digital skills whilst less than 20% of ICT professionals are female, a significant gender gap in the digital world. 

In Malta’s case, 52% of the population have been found to have at least basic digital skills. According to the 2017 National Country Report on Malta, employers in the ICT industry are facing skill shortages for ICT professionals, leading them to rely on foreign workers.