III. Raising the Society’s Digital Awareness

III. Raising the Society’s Digital Awareness

In order to reinforce the use of ICT and the digital media as to improve the qualifications of talent and encourage a learning culture, where specific ICT skills are valued, the awareness priority aims at speeding the acceptance and adoption of ICT by society, as well as promoting this opportunity for competitiveness and employment in the country.

Hence, it becomes essential to create tools identifying gaps while seeking training and education on ICT(E), therefore establishing the best ways to act around an efficient communications strategy.

The time for an Information and Communications Society, highly marked by the rapid advance of research, innovation, application, and widespread of information and communications technologies is opening new business prospects, employment, and creating new jobs. Entrepreneurs and managers with e-business and e-leadership, skills, digital entrepreneurs, experts on business analysis and system integrations, experts on big data and cloud computing, among others, can be found alongside professional profiles being subjected to a growing search.

Given its importance in the present, as well as the future, digital employability is a matter that has been widely studied and discussed, with many studies pointing towards the continuity and growth - in some disruptive scenarios - of ICT skills gap in Europe. The most recent projections regarding the need and supply of ICT labour by 2020 point towards 15000 potential jobs to be filled in Portugal due to the lack of qualified human resources.

This ‘problem’ is an opportunity for Portugal to configure a concrete possibility of raising its employability rate within a futuristic sector, which becomes even more relevant after realising that Portugal has a very high level of young unemployment. The potential of this opportunity may also become more obvious when the SME take over business technology benefits - which cannot be avoided given the expansion of digital economy -, subsequently resulting in a bigger search for professionals with these skills.

In this context, and in order to capitalise this opportunity in an extensive and systematic manner, it becomes essential to raise awareness for the employment possibilities created by digital technology, hence increasing the interest in Sciences, Technology, Engineering, and Maths, as well as continuing with studying, training, and/or requalification, as well as ICT-related careers.


In this sense, we have some strategies:

  • To speed the acceptance and adoption of ICT by society and promote this opportunity for competitiveness and employment in the country;
  • To raise awareness in the Portuguese society, particularly the youth, families, women and unemployed professionals, schools, universities and polytechnics, companies, and the Government, for a potential search for ICT skills in Portugal and the rest of Europe, the existing gap. and particularly the window of opportunity for effective ICT employability;
  • To create tools identifying gaps while seeking training and education on ICT, therefore establishing the best ways to act around an efficient and clear communications strategy, and promote regular operations of scientific policy agents;.
  • To raise awareness in unemployed professionals, particularly young people with higher academic education in areas with a low level of employment, for the capacity to start and develop a career through re-qualifications;
  • To raise awareness in entrepreneurs of small and medium enterprises for the need to resort to qualified ICT professionals as an important tool for competitiveness, hence stimulating the adoption of flexible management systems;
  • To intensify and diversify vocational and professional interventions, etc.
  • To raise awareness in public institutions for the need to continuously and systematically modernise ICT learning by hiring more researchers, hence ensuring scientific jobs and contributing towards attracting highly qualified young people in order to make public institutions more oriented towards the youth.

The time for an Information and Communications Society is highly marked by deep social and economic transformations with an increase and decrease in different economic activities, therefore the ‘old’ jobs become extinct and ‘new’ ones arise, which are highly associated with professions of intense knowledge that require higher training.

In this time, the obsolescence of knowledge does not seem to slow-down being estimated as 30% per year for the Digital area. In three years, if there is no reinvestment or recycling, professionals run the risk of their knowledge and skills becoming out-of-date, which is not compatible with the ICT market requirements. Therefore, it becomes necessary to consolidate a learning system for life by revitalising adult education and training, whether by creating education and training courses based on ICT group needs or by creating advisory and guidance mechanisms that will help digital trainees based on their profile and training needs.

The awareness priority proposes an integrated vision that crosses all other priorities and involves different entities as to fit policies and interventions into ICT and Employability. This intervention must be based on evaluation process monitoring aiming at redefining methodology and communication strategies.

Lines of Action

This area of intervention combines three great lines of action:

  • The mapping of strategic information as to identify gaps searching for ICT education and training, in order to define breakthrough and communication strategies that will favour a wide group of activities with concerted measures, particularly those which may improve the sector’s image and attractiveness, as well as ICT careers;
  • Innovation and/or improvement in this context, hence proposing the restructuring of teaching methods by using digital technology in teaching and learning processes, therefore favouring a culture where specific ICT skills are valued. This also contributes towards the sector’s attractiveness in the context of choosing a career, not forgetting to encourage the adoption of ICT by the companies;
  • Awareness accelerators, which comprise several initiatives that are oriented towards specific target audiences and seek to improve access to using technology and building digital skills, including the development of entrepreneurship and e-leadership skills.