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About the Project

“Work-based learning in a digital age – promoting digital competences for better employability and innovation”, DC4WORK project promotes digital competences for better employability and innovation in the sector of tourism and commerce. The project is developed in cooperation with European partners from Germany, Austria, Belgium, Portugal and Finland.

The transformation of the working world by digitalization increases the need to actively support employees to change and adapt. Digitalization refers not only to technical aspects such as robotics and automation, but also to comprehensive digital skills that enable an effective information handling, active social inclusion and employability. The European Commission has developed a reference framework for digital skills, known as DigComp, and a related self-assessment tool. DigComp describes 21 competences that citizens can use to assess their digital competence level and identify gaps in their knowledge, skills and attitudes. Statistics suggest that 37 % of the EU workforce have insufficient digital skills and 13 % assessed as having none at all (Digital Scoreboard EC for 2015). Even if employees are already familiar with digital devices and applications due to private use it does not mean that they can apply those appropriately at work. Companies demand other or further vocational, digital skills especially related to handling data, data protection or digital marketing. Big companies have more resources to respond to changes brought by digitalization. SMEs are caught between the increasing digitalization of the world of work and the expectations placed on them in terms of productivity and innovation. SMEs are driven by daily business and often lack time as well as resources to strategically deal with digital challenges.

DC4WORK project develops a training course and facilitating methods targeted to “digital competence promoters” in SMEs. This person is considered to be a commited employee who knows daily working routines rather than an expert in this field. Digital competence promoters in SMEs are equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to accompany companies’ digital transformation starting with the digital competences of staff. They receive training and tools to assess digital competences of staff, consider the specifications of the job profile and propose formal and in-formal training methods to employees and employers. Digital competence promoter is an expert of digital literacy and of strategic “work based learning 4.0” in the company. By guiding and training his colleagues the promoter assumes the role of a multiplier.

DC4WORK project consists of three different phases:

White paper research on “Learning in a digital age – a job related approach” increases the awareness of digital competences and their work place related improvement in SMEs of the two sectors tourism and commerce. It identifies the most required digital competences of SMEs, concrete mismatches between training and required competences as well as the existing flagship initiatives to promote digital competences for SMEs. The research develops recommendations for SMEs training activities focusing on the existing needs in area of digital competences.

DC4WORK Guidelines for “Digital competence promoter” in SMEs contains the description of training units in terms of objectives, timely structure, methodology and didactics. Promoters use the guidelines to raise awareness of training needs and offer possibilities to develop staff members digital competences.

Online Toolbox 4.0 contains a selection of good practice examples and success stories, recommendations and practical ways to develop digital competences. The toolbox is accessible, attractive and easy to use platform which digital competence promoters and SMEs can utilize.

Project website:

Project period: 1.10.2017-30.9.2019

Project partners:

  • IHK-Projektgesellschaft mbH, Germany, project coordinator
  • BFI Tirol Bildungs GmbH
  • European Forum of Technical and Vocational Education and Training, Belgium
  • Mentortec, Portugal