Digital Agenda VII: Inclusion and employability
These past weeks we have been taking a look at some of the specific plans implementing the Digital Agenda for Spain, rubber-stamped by the Government on February 15, 2013, aimed at meeting the targets under the Digital Agenda for Europe in 2015 and 2020, and fostering the development of the digital economy and society in Spain.
Today, we turn our attention to the last of the seven specific plans published as part of the Agenda: the Digital Inclusion and Employability Plan.
Although ICT now form part of daily life for the public at large, there remains a significant swathe of the population that have yet to use Internet and who rarely come into contact with new technologies. There is therefore a need to create conditions for an inclusive Information Society, in which the general public regularly goes online and where citizens and professionals are sufficiently equipped to efficiently use ICTs and boost their employability by making use of new technologies.
With this in mind, the Digital Inclusion and Employability Plan foresees an investment of approximately €140 million between 2013 and 2015, revolving around four key pillars:
- Accessibility. The first of these sets out measures aimed at boosting public awareness of the need for accessible services, analysis and dissemination of the breakthroughs made in this area and promotion of training in accessibility, with a view to providing the public at large and certain disadvantaged sectors in particular with access to the Internet and the ICT tools needed to cut down on the risk of digital exclusion.
- Computer literacy. The second pillar envisages pillars aimed at the older population (above all between the ages of 55 and 75), the under-qualified and other “non-digital” age groups with a view to equipping them with the basic digital skill-sets needed to offer them a better quality of life and improved services.
- Equality. The third area aims to meet the target of reducing the gender gap in the use of and access to ICTs. Nonetheless, the initiatives in this area are subject to the content of the II Action Plan for Gender Equality in the Information Society due to be published by the Women’s Institute in the third quarter of 2013.
- Employability. The fourth are of the Plan seeks to improve digital training for employment and sets out a range of measures to support entrepreneurs, SMEs and self-employed workers looking to develop new lines of ICT business and training in entrepreneurial skills. Noteworthy measures include the creation of a direct finance program for projects set up by entrepreneurs and SMEs in the ICT industry in priority areas under the Digital Agenda for Spain, in the shape of participating loans from ENISA (€80 million 2013-2015).
This closes the book, at least for the time being and as we await the publication of new plans by the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism, on this series of articles focusing on the measures implementing the Digital Agenda for Spain.
Garrigues Labor and Employment Law Department