During the last years, the term digital competence has become increasingly relevant within the knowledge society: more and more digital competences are required to citizens due to the major presence of the Internet and Social Media in everyday and labour life.
For this purpose, the Recommendation of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2006 on Key Competences for Lifelong Learning (2006/962/EC) included digital competences within the 8 key skills identified as fundamental for citizenship within the knowledge society. Furthermore, many programmes and initiatives have been launched by the EU during the last decades, such as the New Skills Agenda for Europe or the Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition, and conceptual frameworks on digital competences have been developed, such as the Digital Competence Framework (DigCom 2.0), describing those digital skills necessary within the knowledge society and labour market, and the way of acquiring them.
It is incontestable that social media are no longer just a mean to be in touch with friends and family, but they also are a relevant communication channel for business sector and workplaces: a suitable example is the significant change in the way of recruiting, selecting and hiring employees, as nowadays recruiters consider social media as an effective tool to find the suitable talent they are looking for. This is in addition to higher interest on recruitment processes, low costs and speed of response, which are the main advantages of using social media as a key channel for selecting employees.
In terms of digital skills, considering that to function effectively in a digital society more than low level skills are needed, about 50% of the EU population can be considered as insufficiently digitally skilled, i.e., having either low or basic digital skills (Eurostat 2017 and 2019). It is thus clear that workers need to acquire digital skills in order to strive for better labour opportunities as well as to perform in a more competitive way their job in a global market that requires digital knowledge starting from the job search.
The project LINK-UPS – Social Media for Upskilling Unemployed and Low Skilled Adult Workers for Digital Society (2018-1-PT01-KA204-047429) was born in this context, seeking to develop the digital and media skills of low-qualified/low-skilled and unemployed people, mainly over 45 years, through innovative tools with the final purpose of reinforcing their access to employment.