Each and every Finn should know at least how to use e-mail, manage their own affairs in digital services, use passwords and identify themselves in services. This is reflected in the digital skills recommendations published by the Digital and Population Data Services Agency. The recommendations have been published as part of the programme of the Digital Skills Week that begins today. The topic of the week is Digital Courage. Digital courage is needed in order to transition to primarily providing digital services.
Digital skills recommendations (in Finnish) bring together skills that every Finn living in the digital age should have a command of. The recommendations are based on a study conducted by the Digital and Population Data Services Agency in the autumn and winter of 2022–2023 on what digital skills are essential for people of all ages. Key skills include using e-mail, managing one's own affairs in digital services and managing passwords and identification in services.
In addition, all age groups felt that it was essential that they understood their own skill level and could rely on their ability to develop their own digital skills. Older respondents emphasised the understanding that one is never done learning digital skills. Younger respondents, on the other hand, recognised that there are quantitatively many essential skills and that their need is determined according to one’s life situation. Young people particularly emphasised the importance of well-being skills and media literacy.
The feelings that citizens of different ages have about the digital future are illustrated by a quote attached to the recommendation material from the workshop: "Citizens cannot be required to use services independently until service providers are required to provide genuinely user-friendly and accessible services".
Digital first, but not alone
The digital skills recommendations will be discussed during the national Digital Skills Week, which will be held by the Digital and Population Data Services Agency on 8-12 May 2023. This is the fourth time the theme week is being held. The main topic of the week is digital courage, which is established through collaboration between organisations and people.
Our agency has proposed that, in the coming government term, digital services should be made a statutory primary service method for those for whom the use of digital services is possible. This requires digital courage. We need to raise the level of both services offered and digital skills, as we cannot expect people to use services that do not work,” says Chief Specialist Minna Piirainen of the Digital and Population Data Services Agency.
The term digital courage was highlighted in the Digital Skills Report published in the autumn of 2022. With regard to organisations, this means the courage to develop services boldly, with people's everyday needs for use foremost in mind, so that services of poor quality can be reformed or completely rejected. Likewise, it means encouraging and offering opportunities for learning new things. Digital courage helps you to keep up with continuous technological change, even in situations where you might have second thoughts. Digitally courageous people dare to try and experiment, but they also admit that they sometimes feel uncertain.
A digitally courageous society supports the development of digital skills and creates an environment that encourages the continuous and open-minded development of one's own skills. It also understands that sufficient support is needed not only for those for whom digitalisation is not possible, but also for all of us who are sometimes challenged by digitalisation.
Source: Digital and Population Data Services Agency