ICS and SureSkills partner to deliver ICDL Workforce

Jim Friars, ICS, Damien O'Sullivan, ICDL, Mary Cleary, ICS, and Mark Egan, SuresSkills, at the ICDL Workforce launch (Image ICS)

Digital skills certification to tackle growing skills gap



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12 October 2018 | 0


The digital transformation wave has led many organisations to invest heavily in new technologies and platforms to enable growth and innovation. However, an often overlooked element of that transformation are the basic digital skills required by all workers within the organisation.

According to the Government ICT Skills Action Plan 2014-2018, “Ireland is part of a global race for talent and that we are increasingly competing for inward investment and export opportunities on the basis of the quality of our workforce.”

To tackle the issue of growing demand for digital skills, Irish Computer Society and SureSkills have partnered to deliver the ICDL Workforce certification, which they maintain will ensure Ireland’s IT workforce is digitally-enabled and ready to take on the new challenges brought on by digitisation and digital disruption.

ICDL Workforce is a further development of the successful European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL) programme that has seen some 24,000 organisations and more than 14 million candidates achieve digital skills certification.

“Keeping pace with the latest technology used in your workplace can be a challenge. ICDL Workforce is part of the solution, letting you expand and update your digital skills. Its flexibility means that you can focus on the skills you need to advance your career,” said Jim Friars, CEO, Irish Computer Society.

Overestimation of the level of digital skills has been an issue for many organisations as they embark on digital transformation initiatives. A study in Austria found that among workers in such organisations, 84% rated their knowledge of the Internet as good or very good, in reality, half (49%) scored poorly in practical tests.

“It can be bad for business to make optimistic assumptions about your team’s digital competence as well. ICDL can help you to assess, develop and certify your employees’ digital skills,” said Friars.

ICS and SureSkills argue that certification can overcome these issues, citing a Swiss study that found those who held an ICDL certification performed 24% better in practical tests than those who did not.

“Digital capability is increasingly the chief catalyst of business growth. It is critical to optimising the digital customer experience; driving innovation and delivering efficiency improvements,” said Mark Egan, chairman, SureSkills.

Incorporating learning materials and formal certification of digital skills in real-life scenarios ICDL Workforce offers flexible programmes that are aimed at helping businesses to develop employees’ digital skills.

“ICDL Workforce provides organisations with a flexible solution to ensure that your employees have the digital skills that they need. We have a lot of experience working with businesses to help them optimise the talent they have. It is often core office IT skills that people need to improve on.

“Using ICDL Workforce, you can assess the existing skills of your employees and plan the training that is right for them and your organisation” said Egan.



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