25 June 2019 • Martijn Tamboer
Digitisation calls for additional training
Digitisation is having an ever greater impact on the employment market. Digitisation is changing occupations at a rapid pace and there is increasing demand for IT related competencies. The Hague University of Applied Sciences is therefore working with the business community, educational institutes and the local government on an educational programme to ensure that staff are more up to date in the field of IT. This improves the competitive position of the business community and effectiveness of the public sector and helps the economic and social development of the South Holland region.
“There is a growing number of people who are being left behind. They don’t have enough digital skills and knowledge at their disposal. That is much broader than the traditional IT jobs. IT touches all aspects of our society and changes the knowledge and skills required in almost all occupations”, according to Han Biemans, director of the Faculty of IT & Design at THUAS.
With other educational institutes, including Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences, the region’s Regional Training Centres (ROCs) and private educators, THUAS is developing an educational programme aimed at the digital economy. They are working on this with the business community and authorities. “Temp agencies, for instance, make an inventory of the people who need additional training. We can then offer the most effective possible educational concept to workers.” Once trained, the trained employees help their employer to take advantage of the opportunities digitisation offers.
Underlying the initiative is a recent report from research agency Birch that was commissioned by the province of South Holland and the EBZ (Economic Board South Holland). “The conclusion from that is that labour mobility is too low and that there is a major discrepancy between what the employment market demands and the competencies employees and job seekers have. The report shows that this is the reason why social and economic progress in South Holland lags behind compared to other regions. THUAS can make a difference in that.”
More in the pipeline
The state of technological knowledge and skills determines the future in which IT is becoming increasingly dominant. Therefore, THUAS has more IT degree programmes in the pipeline and is including more digital competencies in the curricula of many degree programmes. “With these degree programmes and the corresponding research related to Cybersecurity, Data Science or User Exchange, for instance, we want to provide an answer to the rapidly changing professional field. Everything is changing. It is imperative that workers in the Netherlands get additional training otherwise even the Netherlands will miss the boat.”