To boost general digital literacy in the Baltics, the Latvian Information and Communications Technology Association (LIKTA) in collaboration with the University of Latvia (UL) innovation centre LUMIC and Microsoft launched Baltic Digital Skills Development Programme in 2020. In the span of two years, 12 000 people from Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia have completed the training. To celebrate the results of the programme, all its participants and other interested parties are kindly welcome to the first Virtual Graduation Ceremony on 15 December 2022 at 15:00.
The event will be held in English and hosted by Valdis Melderis. The ceremony will be streamed live from the LMT studio to be followed online on LIKTA website, LIKTA Facebook, LUMIC website and LUMIC Facebook.
The programme of the ceremony will feature an opening address by Professor Signe Bāliņa, President of LIKTA and Digital Society Advisor to the Rector of UL. She will provide an overview of the Programme’s results in the Baltics and outline its future perspectives. Rihards Blese, Head of Education and Employment sector at the Employers’ Confederation of Latvia, will talk about the tendencies of the job market’s demands, while Juris Binde, President of LMT, will share his insights about the role of digital skills in creating innovation. The ceremony will also feature addresses and speeches by programme graduates and lecturers.
“We are proud that the majority of participants – 6900 people – are from Latvia, followed by 3400 Lithuanians and 1600 Estonians, all of whom actively seized the opportunity to acquire top level digital skills free of charge. For many of them, this programme opened new job opportunities and became a turning point in their careers. For businesses, this initiative has been an aid to raise productivity and attract new professionals,” says Professor Signe Bāliņa.
The programme offers free online training in business and data analysis, software and app development, Python programming and Microsoft 365 administration in Latvian, Lithuanian, Estonian and English. After completing a one-month training course, participants gain a set of skills that are highly demanded in the global labour market, an internationally acknowledged certificate and a chance to continue learning as virtual interns at various companies in the Baltics.
“For many years, Latvia has ranked second globally in terms of mobile internet use. Now the time has come to expand our expertise – to transform ourselves from tireless internet surfers to a society where digital transformation means overall change towards growth instead of constantly chasing the trends and struggling for survival. Initiatives like Baltic Digital Skills Development Programme and its results prove that it is possible to practically improve society’s digital skills in a short time and create paths to new jobs,” Juris Binde explains.
Business data analysis has been the most popular training course among the programme graduates (50 per cent), followed by Software and app development (20 per cent) and Python programming (20 per cent), as well as Microsoft 365 administration (10 per cent). 19 per cent of all graduates have completed several courses, while 4325 people have also opted for virtual internships. 83 per cent of participants are aged 25 to 44 years, but there are graduates with greater life experience as well.
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LUMIC public relations consultant