The spread of the Coronavirus pandemic required a new approach, both from a working point of view - with the encouragement of smart working - and from a technological point of view, with the introduction of remote lessons, not only in the school environment. These events push Italy to adapt to technological change for workers, students, professionals. PCs and tablets therefore enter thousands of Italian homes, becoming indispensable tools for both work and learning.

In this regard, to support digitization and to combat the " digital divide ", the implementing and establishing decrees of the pc and tablet bonus were signed. This is an incentive that varies from a minimum of 200 euros up to a maximum of 500 euros per benefit. The facility is aimed at families and businesses in order to be able to equip themselves with technological tools that may be able to bring even those who are in economic difficulty closer to the minimum level of well-being.

Those who want to benefit from the incentive can apply from November 9, 2020. The date of November 9 was decided by the Ultra Broadband Committee (Cobul ), chaired by the Minister for Technological Innovation and Digitization Paola Pisano.

In this regard, the Decree that regulates the PC voucher (Decree of 7 August 2020 - Voucher plan for low-income families) was published in the Official Journal on 1 October 2020.

This measure, which puts in place a voucher plan for less well-off families , is an intervention to support demand to ensure the use of ultra-broadband internet connection services by families with ISEE below 20 thousand euros.

 

Bonus Pc and Tablet 2020: what it is?

The 2020 pc bonus is an economic contribution to purchase electronic devices, services and navigation tools. Specifically, it consists of a discount for the purchase of:

  • computer
  • Tablet
  • internet connections

by families who fall within certain income limits.

The benefit takes the form of a refund and is paid out through the voucher system. But beware: it's not what it looked like at the beginning. There will be no coupons or vouchers to be delivered to any tech store for the purchase of the chosen devices. Everything will go through the telephone operator. The company that manages everything is Infratel and it will be this that will receive the bonus in the form of a refund.

The vouchers will be issued by Infratel Italia (Infrastructure and Telecommunications for Italy SpA), a MISE company, which is part of the Invitalia Group, which is the implementing body of the Government's “Broadband and Ultra Broadband Plans”. The company will shortly make available a special web platform on which telephony and internet providers who intend to grant the discounts provided to old and new customers will have to be accredited.

The presentation of the project results took place on 12 November 2020, from 4.30 p.m. to 5.45 p.m. in digital format via Zoom, for reasons of public health and accessibility.  In order to contextualise and enrich the event, two panelists external the project were invited to participate.  Here you can find a summary of their interventions:

  • José Moisés Martin (CEO Red2Red) participated as the moderator, introducing the panellist and asking them questions to enhance the debate and sharing his own ideas.
  • The first invited panellist was David Cierco Jimenez de Parga (Director General of Red.es). Red.es is a public corporate entity belonging to the Ministry of Energy, Tourism and the Digital Agenda (MINETAD), and which depends on the Secretary of State for Information Society and Digital Agenda (SESIAD). Red.es develops programmes to stimulate the digital economy, innovation, entrepreneurship, training for young people and professionals and to support SMEs by encouraging efficient and intensive use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). The Director General spoke about the weaknesses, strengths and opportunities that Spain has in the current digital transformation process. He explained the country’s main challenge lies on the low level of digital competences, but that Spain has one of the best quality digital infrastructure in Europe. Therefore, he asserted that education and training are the elements we should focus on in the coming years in order to enhance a radical improvement in the level of skills of Spanish population. He also spoke about some public policies being carried out to improve this situation as the Educa en digital programme.
  • The second invited panellist was Albert Cañigueral (Connector of Ouishare, member of DigitalWork group and author of “El trabajo ya no es lo que era”). DigitalWork is a project that aims to analyse how digitalization is transforming labour market, taking into consideration the reaction of the subjects involved directly. Albert spoke about the difficulties people face when trying to update their level of digital competences, both individually and in the workplace. He also mentioned different innovative initiatives to empower certain groups that are being left out of the workplace. For instance, he shared https://www.spectroomz.com/ a hub helping autistic adults fund sustainable work from home jobs.
  • The third panellist, Lucía Alonso (Coordinator of the Link-ups project at Red2Red), gave a presentation of the general aspects of the Erasmus+ Link-ups project (origin and structure) and focused on explaining the activities that have been carried out (study, platform, pilots and manual for professionals) and the results of the said activities.

At the end of the webinar some questions of the attendees were gathered through the chat and answered by the panellists live.

On the 23rd of July 2020, the new Digital Agenda “España Digital 2025” was presented in la Moncloa.

España Digital 2025 includes a set of almost 50 measures organised into 10 strategic axes, being the third axis: "strengthening the digital skills of workers and all citizens (target 2025: 80% of people with basic digital skills, 50% of whom will be women)". Some of the objectives of this axis are in line with the goals of LINK-UPS Project. The objectives and measures proposed in this axis are briefly described below.

The objectives of the third axis of the new Spanish Digital Agenda are the following:

  1. To improve the basic digital competences of citizens and to close gaps between groups. Highlighting the importance of training the groups with the greatest difficulties in acquiring these skills, such as the elderly, retired people, people with low income and people living in rural areas.
  2. To provide students with advanced digital skills and promote digital professions.
  3. To provide workers with the digital skills required in their field of employment in order to have more and better job opportunities.To this end, priority will be given to closing the gap between employed and unemployed persons in order to mitigate long term unemployment situations and allow for lifelong leraning throughout working life.
  4. To meet the demand for specialists in digital technologies.
  5. To reduce the gender gap in digital skills.

In particular, to reduce the digital divide, the Agenda recommends a series of joint actions between the public and private sectors with the following measures:

DIGITAL EDUCATION

A set of actions to support the digital transformation of the education system by providing devices, digital educational resources, reinforcing the digital skills of teachers, and fostering actions involving the application of Artificial Intelligence to personalised education.

NATIONAL PLAN FOR DIGITAL COMPETENCES

Comprehensive plan that aims, through different Programmes, to: substantially increase the level of basic digital skills of the groups that currently lag behind (the elderly, people with low income and low education levels, non-urban areas, women); guarantee advanced digital skills among students at the end of secondary education; train the workforce to acquire the necessary digital skills for their jobs and future employability, and meet the demand for digital specialists.

UNI-DIGITAL PLAN

Plan to promote the processes of digitalisation in Higher Education.

This webinar will discuss the current and future situation of digital qualifications, both in Spain and internationally. We will talk about the importance of policies and initiatives that promote the increase of digital competences, especially among the most vulnerable groups, and in particular, the initiative of the Link-ups project (Erasmus +) will be presented, which aims to boost the digital competences of those over 45.

Speakers include David Cierco (Director General of Red.es), María Luz Rodríguez (Director of the DigitalWork Research Project), José Moisés Martín (CEO Red2Red) and Lucía Alonso (Coordinator of the LINK-UPS Project at Red2Red).

Registration here: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Vylgj5CBQ1qaS9PwXYJpOw

The European Commission presented a new Skills Agenda setting ambitious objectives for upskilling and reskilling for the next five years.

The strategy  focus on skills for jobs by partnering up with Member States, companies and social partners to work together for change, by empowering people to embark on lifelong learning, and by using the EU budget as a catalyst to unlock public and private investment in people’s skills.

The 12 planned actions are the following:

  1. A Pact for Skills
  2. Strengthening skills intelligence
  3. EU support for strategic national upskilling action
  4. Proposal for a Council Recommendation on Vocational Education and Training for sustainable competiveness, social fairness and resilience
  5. Rolling out the European universities initiative and upskilling scientists
  6. Skills to support the green and digital transitions
  7. Increasing STEM graduates and fostering entrepreneurial and transversal skills
  8. Skills for Life
  9. Initiative on Individual Learning Accounts
  10. A European approach to micro-credentials
  11. New Europass Platform
  12. Improving the enabling framework to unlock Member States’ and private investments in skills

The aim is to ensure that the right to training and lifelong learning, enshrined in the European Pillar of Social Rights, becomes a reality all across Europe, from cities to remote and rural areas, to the benefit of everyone. The Commission is placing skills at the heart of the EU policy agenda, steering  investment in people and their skills for a sustainable recovery after the coronavirus pandemic. Businesses need workers with the skills required to master the green and digital transitions, and people need to be able to get the right education and training to thrive in life.

The new Europass platform is launched as the first implemented action of the Skills Agenda. As of today, it offers guidance in CV-writing, suggests tailored jobs and learning opportunities, provides information on trends in skills, and is available in 29 languages.

Lear more at: https://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=1223

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