Serbia: Skilling-up for Industry 4.0
With the digital revolution - Industry 4.0 – underway, education systems around the world are finding ways to adapt to the rapid pace of change. To help meet demands of the fast-growing ICT sector, EU-candidate country Serbia is prioritising digital skills and online learning.
In 2017, the government funded the retraining of 1,000 people in digital competences. A further 1,500 people are expected to benefit from the programme in 2018. Serbia’s minister overseeing labour and employment Zoran Đorđević wants to better recognise young talent, boost their skills and create the right conditions for this digitally-skilled workforce to stay in Serbia. He made the comments following a recent meeting with European Training Foundation (ETF) Director Cesare Onestini in Belgrade.
Serbia’s hotbed of ICT
The city of Novi Sad is Serbia’s hotbed of ICT. The Vojvodina ICT cluster brings together 35 companies, 4000 employees and 10+ governmental and educational institutions. It aims to give ICT companies a regional, national and global platform, support training initiatives, and lobby for better policies to support digital industry development.
Inspired by the successful ecosystem, the ETF, together with the ICT cluster and ministry overseeing vocational education, analysed future skills demands for the sector and links to the education system. Plans are now moving forward to replicate the success through ‘knowledge hubs’ – platforms to bring together employers, educators and government in different sectors.
Boosting digital key competences
The European Commission’s unveiled a new Digital Education Action Plan in January to boost digital skills and e-learning. It builds upon the EU key competence framework, a guide to curriculum reform, which covers eight key competences including digital and entrepreneurship. Another useful tool is the DigiComp 2.0 framework for teachers, trainers and policymakers to develop skills.
Supporting the development of digital and entrepreneurship key competences are a particular focus of the ETF’s work with EU candidate countries. Through the so-called Riga Process, the ETF tracks policy and practice developments in both competence areas. The fact sheet on progress in Serbia is available here.
Teaching for the 21st century
When it comes to delivering skills for the future, teachers and trainers are on the frontline. The ETF is working on range of initiatives in Serbia, and other EU candidate countries. Initiatives like promoting the use of ePortfolios in vocational schools, digital portals and networks for teachers to share materials and best practice examples, workshops, webinars and more. Take a look at the platform here.