We will only benefit from technological solutions and extended infrastructure when people have the skills and motivation required to use these resources.
Acquisition of basic information and communication technology skills is a priority both for people themselves and the public and private sector. Campaigns and training courses aimed at improving digital literacy have been launched at the initiative of enterprises and with some participation from the state, such as the Internet involvement project, “Ole kaasas!” (Come Along).
The awareness of people of the opportunities and threats offered by the Internet have been consistently increased within the information society awareness programme that emphasises safe Internet behaviour skills.
The presence of a competent, innovative and competitive ICT sector is important for both the development of public sector ICT solutions and the economy in general.
According to the goal established for 2020, 50% more people than today will work in the Estonian ICT sector. The aims set for the next seven years for the ICT sector are described in the Information Society Development Plan Until 2020.
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IT-related afterschool activities
Digital literacy and personal welfare
The following activities will be implemented to teach people to use the Internet for improving the quality of their lives:
- Promotion of basic IT skills in general education schools, above all, in basic schools.
- Supporting the acquisition of basic IT skills among adult non-users of the Internet.
- Increasing the awareness of the population of the opportunities and threats offered by information society.
- Supporting the updating and creation of information concerning the information society at general education school level and in curricula.
- Identification of IT competences and development of related frameworks for all levels of education and professional standards.
- Bringing the level of total research and development expenditures up to 2 per cent of the GDP.
Development of advanced IT skills
The following measures will be implemented to contribute to the promotion of the IT skills required to create jobs with higher added value:
- IT skills of population with poor or out-dated qualification
The awareness among students and employees of ICT sector career opportunities will be supported by developing information dissemination programmes and career advising events.
Labour market of IT sector
Among other tools, admission to the appropriate specialities in universities has been extended to decrease the labour shortage in the ICT sector.
Until now, more attention has been given in Estonia to promoting the IT skills of people with poor or out-dated qualifications. Too little consideration has been given to developing the IT skills required to create jobs with higher added value. Instead, we should promote and facilitate IT competence that will be in more demand in the near future – interdisciplinary aspects, data mining, analytical abilities and cyber security. Several efforts have been implemented in Estonia for that purpose:
- In 2012, the IT Academy was established in Estonia, which is aimed at improving the quality of ICT education and increasing its international competitiveness.
- The amendments to the Aliens Act, endorsed in 2013, provide the prerequisites for facilitating the introduction of top level specialists to Estonia.