Digital Skills & Jobs Coalition

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The Irish Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition was launched on 27th April, 2017. It is a multi-stakeholder partnership focussed on tackling the digital skills shortage and on upskilling everybody to take advantage of the digital economy and society. Representatives of academia, all education sectors, industry, the public service, the not-for-profit sector have come together to ensure that Ireland joins in the European effort to leverage the rewards of digitisation.

After the publication of the new Skills Agenda for Europe, which included the establishment of the Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition, with national coalitions feeding into the central European movement, the Irish Computer Society was asked by the European Commission to lead the establishment of such a partnership in Ireland.

We encourage our partners to make pledges to carry out specific, practical actions to contribute to this effort. They can be logged here, and all pledges from Ireland and other coalitions can be viewed on the official DJSC website

Partners of the Irish Digital Coalition the former Digital Champion of Ireland, Lord David Puttnam, several government departments (Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation; Education; Communications, Climate Action and Environment; an Taoiseach; Public Expenditure and Reform), Ibec, Dublin City University, Solas, Trinity College Dublin, the Third Level Computing Forum, Computers in Education Society of Ireland, Irish National Organisation for the Unemployed, Professional Development Services for Teachers, Science Foundation Ireland, Fast Track to IT, European Movement, Innovation Value Institute, LYIT, IT Sligo, DKIT, eHealth Ireland, IDA, GMIT, an Garda Síochána, and Tech Ireland as well as several small and large enterprises.

Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition Steering Committee

The Advisory Board is comprised of a group of IT leaders, educators, policy makers and thought-leaders with a rich experience in driving a digital agenda.
The board provides expert advice on projects designed to fulfil the needs of the IT profession.

From the array of high calibre and profile partners, a Steering Committee was formed, consisting of:

Coalition Priorities

As an initial exercise to identify priorities for the coalition, the partners undertook to review a document provided by the European Commission to guide the actions of National Coalitions (Shared Concept DSJC 2016), and to identify priorities for the Irish Coalition. The following priorities were identified:

  1. Modernise teaching content and pedagogies
  2. Upgrade teacher skills and qualifications
  3. Cooperation between education and industry
  4. Leverage competence frameworks, Digcomp, e-CF etc.
  5. Understand what we mean by digital skills
  6. Obstacles to gaining digital skills
  7. Up-skill the labour force
  8. Employers’ responsibility to train workers
  9. Generate public awareness of need for digital upskilling
  10. Access funding for initiative and actions
  11. ICT as career choice (girls too), informally and through curriculum
  12. Alternative approaches to careers in IT

Lord David Puttnam

As Ireland’s Digital Champion I warmly welcome, and am only too happy to
support the establishment of the Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition with its mandate to create change,
to support the current workforce in becoming professionals with the range
of skills needed to adapt and prosper in a rapidly changing world.

This is an important time for the country to establish an effective coalition;
synchronizing efforts at a national level to make technology available to all –
to equip Ireland’s young people to be competitive on a world stage.
The coalition provides an opportunity to promote national activities and endeavors at the European level.

Our National Coalition will open Ireland to the exchange of best practice with National Coalitions in other member countries.

This is an exciting ambition, and I look forward to watching the outcome as things develop.


e-Health Ireland

eHealth Ireland welcomes the formation of an Irish Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition as
part of the New Skills Agenda for Europe. eHealth Ireland supports the fulfillment of the coalition’s objectives of:

  1. Developing digital skills to enable all citizens to be active in our digital society
  2. Transforming teaching and learning of digital skills in a lifelong learning perspective, including the training of teachers
  3. Developing digital skills for the digital economy, e.g. upskilling and reskilling workers, jobseekers; actions on career advice and guidance
  4. Developing high-level digital skills for ICT professionals in all industry sectors

The objectives related to digital adoption among all citizens complements the eHealth Strategy for Ireland bringing improved population wellbeing through
increased and efficient use of technology. Objectives associated with strengthening professional skills are also part of the eHealth Strategy to enable
a more effective health service.

eHealth Ireland endorses the Irish Computer Society (ICS) as coordinator of an Irish Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition of stakeholder partners,
and supports the effort to collaborate and share best practice within Ireland and across other EU member states.

eHealth Ireland pledges a commitment to this partnership by supporting ICS activities such as IT Professionals Day and Tech Week that promote the coalition objectives.

Minister of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell 0 ‘Connor, T.D.

I fully endorse the formation of a National Coalition for Ireland as part of the new EU National Digital
Skills and Jobs Coalition. This innovative initiative is well aligned with the Irish National ICT Skills
Action Plan and the Digital Strategy for Schools. Their aim is to increase the supply of ICT professionals
and improve the digital lifelong learning skills of all citizens. Digital skills competency is needed by
individuals in occupations across all sectors of the economy, within both small and large enterprises.
E- leadership skills will help realise the potential of ICT technologies to drive future business and employment growth.

I welcome the lead role of the Irish Computer Society as co-ordinator of a national coalition of stakeholder
partners. I would encourage the collaboration of all stakeholders in the Coalition — including State agencies,
employers, professional bodies, and education and training providers. The Irish Government is fully supportive
of the work of the European Commission aimed at boosting digital skills and talent in Europe.


Department of Communications, Climate Action & Environment.

I am writing to convey the support of the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment
for Ireland’s National Coalition under the new EU Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition initiative which is being established by the Irish Computer Society.

We welcome the opportunities presented by the National Coalition for increased collaboration, co-operation
and sharing of best practice both within Ireland and across the broader European coalition.

The Department’s National Broadband Plan and National Digital Strategy are just two of a number of policies
designed to critically support the digital economy in Ireland and deliver the vision of a fully digitally
enabled society. Delivery of ubiquitous high speed broadband under the National Broadband Plan is a strategic priority and the cornerstone of policy. The National Digital Strategy seeks to address the engagement issue by providing the impetus and support for companies, communities and citizens to realise the full social and economic potential of the digital world.

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