Has COVID-19 Upped Digital Skills in Ireland?
The reason for my headline arises from the fact that pre-COVID 19. I noticed a quote in some online news feed suggesting our digital skills in Ireland were a lot worse than one might assume.
Surprising considering that we are the European home to serious players like Apple, Facebook etc. Indeed Ireland is home to 16 of the world’s top 20 software companies.
I chased the source which turned out to be a 2019 report from –Source: EU Digital Economy Report (The report is downloadable too.)
Here are just a few of the statements I took from the report:
For the most advanced digital economies in the EU Ireland ranks sixth!.
The report notes that, only 48 % of individuals in Ireland have at least basic digital skills.
- With more than half of the adult population lacking at least basic digital skills, Ireland continues to suffer from ICT (meaning ‘Information Communication Technology) skills shortages
- Ireland continues to suffer from ICT skills shortages.
- Since 2012 the proportion of enterprises who tried to recruit ICT specialists, but experienced difficulties, has consistently remained above 50%.
Despite the clear commitment from successive Irish governments to digital skills, it remains a challenge to ensure that a significant proportion of the adult population is not left behind in a fast-moving digital economy and society because they lack adequate digital skills.
Just to expand on it a bit, ICT stands for ‘Information Communication Technology’. Everyday usage of digital technology includes when you use a computer, tablet or mobile phone, send email, browse the internet, make a video call – these are all examples of using basic ICT skills and technology to communicate.
Nevertheless, public intervention is needed to help indigenous firms, in particular SMEs, StartUps to make the most of technology
Is it Different Post COVID-19 one wonders?
Let’s hope that this report is updated when these COVID times end.
The results I believe should be different because as a society we have largely complied with COVID-19 restrictions, meaning that:
- Many have had to work from home
- We have turned online for entertainment
- We had to shop online for months
- We have had
- We have learned to communicate with online tools and platforms (Zoom & Skype etc)
I suspect there will be a noticeable change in the stats.
Business owners now in pandemic times truly realise that online marketing is a necessary component of business life.
Maybe because of this it’s easy to jump to a conclusion that our digital skills must be improved, but it’s a fair assumption.
I have noticed with clients I work for that their social media skills, particularly on Facebook and Twitter, have improved considerably-they now get it.
They have sat back and thought about it and are productive on the platforms they are comfortable with.
I work for several clients who along the way have learned how to create content for me that they want to be published- revised and formatted – or added to -and uploaded – but pre COVID-19 they were a minority.
In recent times I have been contacted by new clients and leads, who interestingly are seeking coaching as well as content creation advice. Some have been more than capable for newbies to online creation.
My point is that while it is often the case that some skills are closely guarded on the other hand there are indeed benefits for us the service provider too. I also feel speaking for myself that I benefit too because my clients also learn to appreciate that online promotion takes work and time – and when the client understands all the moving parts involved they respect my skills more.
ALL FOOD FOR THOUGHT!