1 University of Malta (MALTA)
2 Danube-University Krems (AUSTRIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2023 Proceedings
Publication year: 2023
Pages: 5079-5082
ISBN: 978-84-09-55942-8
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2023.1276
Conference name: 16th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 13-15 November, 2023
Location: Seville, Spain
The global workforce is today facing a critical period of job and skills instability. With a big portion of today’s jobs set to disappear or become displaced by Artificial Intelligence (AI), robotics and automation, the world today requires a human workforce which possesses proficient digital skills. Pursuant to such predictions, the World Economic Forum has launched the ‘Reskilling Revolution’, aimed at providing better education, new skills and better work to a billion people by the year 2030. The Digital Skills for the Artificial Intelligence Revolution (DS4AIR) Erasmus+ KA2 project supports innovation through the design, development and evaluation of an online training course on digital skills in view of the AI Revolution. This is aimed at improving and extending the reskilling of vulnerable adults in the workforce who possess a lower level of knowledge and digital competencies. Consequently, this aimed at future-proofing their careers vis-à-vis the anticipated shift and demands in digital skills.

This paper describes the experience of the strategic partnership for adult education, consisting of chambers of commerce in Spain and Malta and education, research and innovation centres in Malta, Northern Ireland and Denmark, in the design and development of an online self-paced training course on digital skills for the Artificial Intelligence Revolution. This was based on a literature review aimed at establishing the current state of affairs in the business industry in terms of AI readiness and a needs analysis comprising a survey with over 300 employers and employees aimed at identifying the gaps between the required new digital skills and competencies and the demands of the labour market. This was complemented by in-depth interviews with 9 employees and 6 employers. As a result, a learner persona was created, and the learning objectives, content, and assessment for the online self-paced course were developed. The online course which comprises 8 modules (each requiring approximately ninety minutes of self-paced learning) is currently being piloted and has so far received over 900 registrations and more than 700 certifications have been issued.

In terms of the project’s expected impact, it is envisaged that the results will yield a high-quality digital learning environment, based on the needs and requirements of vulnerable adults in today’s workforce. It is also expected that the digital competence of participating adults will be enhanced, thus improving their career prospects. Participating businesses will be equipped in terms of skilled labour to embrace the disruption brought about by emerging technologies and better placed to understand, assess and act upon the reskilling requirements posed by the foreseeable skills mismatch brought about by the Artificial Intelligence Revolution. In terms of the potential longer-term benefits, the online training course will become a valuable open education resource for re/upskilling for businesses and interested individuals around the world. Furthermore, the resulting recommendations document on digital skills for corporate training in the Artificial Intelligence Revolution will complement the Pan-European policy efforts in the popularisation of digital competencies, by providing evidence-based practice for future guidelines.
Artificial intelligence, digital skills, reskilling, upskilling, adult education.