Designing competences in the digital age

insights from SMERALD research

Dear colleagues,

In the ever-evolving landscape of digital transformation, skills are becoming a cornerstone of success. At SMERALD, we are committed to equipping European SMEs with the essential skills they need to succeed in the digital age. We are pleased to present the results of our research, which has culminated in the development of a comprehensive skills framework tailored to the needs of SMEs.

Based on the extensive research, we have identified the key skills that are essential for navigating the digital environment. These competencies form the foundation on which we build our framework to ensure relevance, effectiveness and adaptability.

At the heart of our framework are three distinct levels of competence:

Facilitating Learning Environments for Digital Data, Data Analytics and AI: This level focuses on equipping VET teachers and facilitators with the necessary skills to create a conducive learning environment. By equipping them with the tools and knowledge needed to teach digital skills, we lay the foundation for continuous learning and growth.

Empowering organisational employees: Empowering SME employees with practical, job-relevant skills is at the heart of our mission. From mastering data analytics techniques to harnessing artificial intelligence, we aim to equip them with the skills they need to drive innovation and efficiency in their businesses.

Holistic skills for a broader skill set: We recognise the importance of developing holistic skills that go beyond technical knowledge and transcend the boundaries of individual disciplines. From effective communication and teamwork to problem-solving and adaptability, these skills are the foundation of a resilient and flexible workforce.

As we refine and implement our competency framework, we invite stakeholders from all areas to join us in shaping a future where competence equals success. Together, let’s pave the way for a digital Europe where SMEs are at the forefront of innovation and growth.

Stay tuned as we continue to use research to drive meaningful change in the digital landscape.