Universidade de Aveiro (PORTUGAL)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2019 Proceedings
Publication year: 2019
Pages: 8555-8560
ISBN: 978-84-09-14755-7
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2019.2041
Conference name: 12th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 11-13 November, 2019
Location: Seville, Spain
Digitalization is currently in the top priorities of companies and policymakers, as digital initiatives promise to account for an increasing volume of business operations, value creation and employment in every region. From the perspective of companies, digital transformation translates into the acceleration in the pace of change in processes, work activities and contexts. Yet, the effective deployment of the promised advantages of digitalization will depend greatly on the capability of organizations, as well as their regional production ecosystems, to advance with adequate qualification and requalification strategies in order to achieve the right alignment between capabilities and technologies. The sustainability of the promises of digitally enabled development depends on the integration of individuals in rewarding and meaningful activities, careers and work-life contexts.

This study offers a contribution to informing the development of education and qualification strategies to meet the demands associated with the emerging work contexts that are increasingly permeated by digital technologies. The future of work is raising calls for professionals who are technology literate, able to deal with complex problems in a creative manner while holding the ability to judge, manage, and coordinate with other people. Many of the foresighted competences fall beyond the scope of existing education and training offers, and demand quick responses from universities and policymakers.

The study has been developed under the scope of the project AVEIRO STEAM City, in Portugal, a project supported by the European Union, that brings together an Urban Network of partners, that aim at the regional upgrading of Science Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics Skills in order to meet the job market demands associated with the digitalization of the production. The project involved the conduction of a diagnosis about the priorities for the qualification of the human resources in the region that was built on: i) a preliminary identification of the key technologies that will lead to the transformation in the industry and business activities of the companies in the Region of Aveiro; ii) the identification and characterization of a set of transversal and technical competencies that are relevant for the implementation of such technologies; iii) the identification of priorities for the development of the competencies. The study was supported by the analysis of the literature and policy documents concerning the digitalization of economies and production systems, and the associated competencies, as well as by the conduction of interviews and a workshop with representatives of local companies, and industry bodies. The workshop allowed for the collection of primary information that allowed for a timely prioritization of the competency domains, but also for the validation of the prioritization methodology allowing for future replications of the study.

The paper offers a description the literature and evidence about the relevant technologies and competencies required for supporting the digital transformation of the production systems, as well as the details of the methodology and results from the industry workshop.
The study offers a timely and relevant contribution to support the actions of managers, education and qualification entities as well as policymakers in the domain of digital transformation of the production systems and economies.
Competencies, digital transformation, qualification, future of work.