(13/12/2013) Education, inclusion, employability. These are the three key words that Meral Akin-Hecke, Digital Champion for Austria, set as the stepping stones of her strategy for the Austrian Digital Agenda in the next three years.
"I have found several ongoing interesting projects, and I want make sure they reach their objectives" – she explains.
"The most important issue for me is opening up education. Therefore my first objective is to help make the education system more able to adjust to the new world, with a focus on the need for the constant updating of teachers' skills and knowledge".
"I also want to help raise the level of digital literacy, in order to make it more homogenous throughout the all country. All in all, digital literacy in Austria is around the average of the rest of the European Union. However, there are big geographical imbalances: we have highly educated students in cities but low levels of literacy in the countryside.
There is also a cultural gap. A significant part of the population does not realize just how important ICT is in their lives, and not only for using digital media, or watching videos on YouTube, but also for e-government services and businesses".
Therefore I am going to launch a campaign to raise awareness. It is important that Austrians understand that it is their job and in their own interest to become digital citizens.
"My third priority is to help fight youth unemployment. For this it is crucial to have a better alignment between supply and demand in the marketplace. We need to equip jobseekers with a new set of skills that can better suit the needs of the marketplace".