Recently, a new global reality has emerged in addition to already established conditions, and that is the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), which is bringing about long-lasting alterations in the employment environment. The need of instant digitalization became a vital necessity in almost all enterprises, bigger or smaller ones, since they deal with substantial difficulties towards developing an online presence. At the same time, the lack of awareness related to the benefits and opportunities available for digital resources, led the EU community and its partners to proceed to the creation of the DIGITUP project, which lays the foundation to a digital revolution and sets teleworking as a very popular alternative to traditional job options

DIGITUP refers to the digitalization of Small and Medium-Sized European Enterprises (SMEs) and the challenges they face in today’s climate. Most SMEs, report they lack the basic digital skills resulting in a positive link between digital skill levels and turnover growth. Digital transformation is vital for SMEs since it can lead to unique opportunities. However, in order to take advantage of an even wider range of opportunities brought about by ongoing improvements in digital technologies, platforms, applications, and devices, SMEs must invest in themselves and develop their digital skills in order to overcome current digital skills gaps and mismatches. The project also focuses on the needs of the direct target group, which includes SMEs managers, self-employed individuals, and owners of small businesses and microbusinesses. It tries to develop the proper mindset and a common understanding of BIC technologies and the Industry 4.0 framework. The project will put a special emphasis on creating the conditions that will allow them to design a digital strategy, become future managers who are proficient in technology, and even generate new digital capabilities.

INNOVATION HIVE plays a significant role in this project as it sets in priority the development of an innovative, approachable training course, as well as additional assessment tools and piloting activities that will practically assist VET teachers and educators in training SMEs’ managers and self-entrepreneurs for being the future managers- holders of cutting-edge digital skills, who will be able to achieve the digital transformation of their work and businesses based on Industry 4.0 framework. The DIGITUP project seeks to create, put into practice, advance, and have an impact on some of the following in line with the priorities for addressing digital transformation, adapting vocational education, and training to the needs of the labor market, and contributing to innovation initiatives in the VET sector:

  1. Identify the types of digital skills that are highly demanded by SMEs and self-enterprises
  2. Provide cross-sectoral inputs towards the future digital skills and the main sectors affected within a SME
  3. Capture, communicate and provide familiarization to SMEs’ managers and self-enterprises with breakthroughs in emerging technologies 
  4. Provide free access to high quality and up-to-date information, material, training, and support
  5. Develop easy to use assessment tools for digital skills measuring 
  6. Provide innovative, well-conducted and structured training material relevant to SMEs digitalization 
  7. Highlight the digitalization importance for SMEs’ and self-enterprises’ internal business processes, business and financial management, marketing, and document management

Concluding, this initiative will try to ensure that participants’ innovative teaching and learning practices are accessible and used. This will enable European SMEs to adopt disruptive tech-based practices more frequently by supporting actions that strengthen ecosystems, structurally improve the supply of necessary skills, and promote organizational development and high performance. In order to support vocational education and training, the DIGITUP project will increase the ability of VET educators to apply technological, digital, and other skills. This includes addressing their need to adopt new knowledge regarding the digital transformation and using innovative pedagogical and educational methods.

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA). Neither the European Union nor EACEA can be held responsible for them 2022-1-CZ01-KA220-VET- 000086461

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