Digital skills for the AI revolution

In the end, the project is expected to yield a high-quality digital learning environment based on the needs and requirements of vulnerable adults in today’s workforce


The global workforce is today facing a critical period of jobs and skills instability. With a significant portion of today’s jobs set to disappear or become displaced by Artificial Intelligence (AI), robotics and automation, the world today require a human workforce which possesses proficient digital skills.

Based on such forecasts, the World Economic Forum (WEF) recently launched the ‘Reskilling Revolution’, aimed at providing better education, new skills and better work to a billion people by the year 2030. The Digital Skills 4 the AI Revolution (DS4AIR) project supports innovation through the design, development and evaluation of an online training course on Digital Skills because of the coming Artificial Intelligence Revolution (AIR).

This is aimed at improving and extending the reskilling of vulnerable adults in the workforce who lack digital competences. Consequently, this will future-proof their careers due to the expected demands in digital skills.

It will also help to provide a new supply of tech-professionals, especially since Europe is currently facing a shortage of 1 million employees specialised in digital technologies.

In line with the WEF’s initiative and as a proactive measure, the project will seek to:

Establish the AI readiness of business organisations.

Identify the gaps between the required new digital skills or competencies and the demands of the labour market, given the imminent AIR.

Create a learner profile of the course’s target audience.

Design and develop an online self-paced training course on digital skills for the AIR.

Reskill vulnerable adults whose jobs are threatened by the new technologies, hence ensuring their survival and prosperity in the job market.

Analyse the quality and impact (including the degree of satisfaction) of the course through a summative evaluation of the content and instructional design, vis-à-vis the expected learning outcomes.

Draft a recommendations document on digital skills for corporate training.

The project is driven by five European entities. The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry and the Valencia chamber bring their invaluable business and economic insights together with their extensive network of business affiliations.

The other institutions can boast decades of experience in adult digital education and AI.

This project is very much in line with the new €2.5 million scheme “Re-engineering Your Way To Success!” launched by the Malta Chamber and Malta Enterprise to help businesses restructure their business models.

The current pandemic was a big eye-opener for a lot of companies, but through these initiatives, difficulties are being turned into opportunities.

The scheme will help businesses analyse their business models as they embark on a restructuring journey to understand how they can grow more efficient and future-proof.

The first activity to kickstart the DS4AIR project will take the form of a webinar entitled; ‘The AI Revolution: A Reality or Myth?’.

During such an event; policymakers, tech experts, business owners, trainers and employees will share their views and discuss the current status quo of the business industry.

They will then look into the required digital skills which will guarantee that businesses expedite their preparations to secure future successes.

This is, of course, just the initial step, and in the following months, the activities will centre around the compilation of the needs analysis.

After that, the project will concentrate on the design and development of the online training course, with multiplier and training events aimed at receiving valuable feedback from all stakeholders.

The partners will then evaluate the online training course, through piloting with a group of vulnerable adults, whose jobs are threatened by the new technologies.

The resulting feedback will be used to draft a recommendations document, which will then be disseminated amongst learning and development professionals in various business sectors.

In the end, the project is expected to yield a high-quality digital learning environment based on the needs and requirements of vulnerable adults in today’s workforce.

It will also enhance the digital competencies of participating adults, thus improving their careers’ prospects. Participating businesses will be equipped in terms of skilled labour to contain the disruption brought about by emerging technologies.

They will be better placed to understand, assess and act upon the reskilling requirements posed by the foreseeable skills mismatch brought about by the AIR.

In terms of the potential longer-term benefits, the online training course will become a valuable open education resource for re/upskilling for business and interested individuals around the world. Furthermore, the resulting recommendations document on digital skills for corporate training in the AIR will complement the Pan-European policy efforts in the popularisation of digital competences by providing evidence-based practice for future guidelines.

The project is financed by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union. Further details about the first activity can be accessed from here

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