Need for digital skills increases

But it may be a problem to meet the demands without participation of state and change in the approach at schools.

Illustrative stock photoIllustrative stock photo(Source: Sme)

Even the manual workers need certain digital skills if they want to find a good job, according to a study recently published by the Institute for Public Affairs (IVO) and the Profesia.sk job portal. Despite the growing digital literacy of Slovaks, there is still a big group composed mostly of the unemployed who fail to meet the basic demands and may struggle when searching for a job.

One of the frequent problems is that these people are unwilling to learn something new. They expect that what they learned some 20 years ago will be enough for them and they do not need to continue in further studies, according IVO analyst Marián Velšic.

“It is a kind of life philosophy which is unfortunately dominant and persisting in Slovakia,” Velšic told The Slovak Spectator. “Until this philosophy changes, we cannot expect people will try to improve and adapt [to labour market needs].”

Need for digital skills

Among the biggest revelations of the study, based on surveys carried out by IVO between 2005 and 2015 and analyses of 747,193 job offers and 477,072 CVs published on Profesia.sk, is that even qualified manual workers need to have some digital skills. As much as 19 percent of them claimed they have to handle basic work with computer and applications with basic office functions.

The requirements on people working in trade and services are even higher. Up to 40 percent of them say they need to manage basic office applications, while further 9 percent also have to know how to use the computer, notebooks and applications with advanced functions.

Moreover, manual workers’ willingness to adapt to the labour market needs has changed. The share of those willing to learn something new rose from 29 percent in 2005 to 61 percent in 2015. The adaptability is increasing with qualification and the demands of the job.

They however still claim they struggle with more sophisticated skills, like using special applications, but also some basic skills, like downloading and uploading various files on the internet, installing programmes and setting basic functions.

The situation is even worse when it comes to the jobless. Despite the positive growth in the beginning of the surveyed period, their improvement in digital literacy got stuck around 2009 and since then has changed only slightly.

“Compared with the rest of the population it is far below the average,” Velšic told the press.

Moreover, only 40 percent of them claimed they can easily adapt to the labour market needs, while 60 percent said they have problems with that.

The jobless have the biggest problems with using ordinary office applications, as well as downloading and uploading various files, installing programmes, but also using the USB devices, smartphones and tablets, or some communication tools (like email, social networks and Skype).

-Companies ease off their requirements -IT education is a challenge

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