World Telecommunication and Information Society Day

The share of individuals with digital skills is increasing

In 2019, 31% of 16–74-year-olds had above basic digital skills, 24% basic, 28% low and 17% no digital skills. 30% of the unemployed and 6% of the employees and self-employed had no digital skills.

  • 12 May 2020 at 10:30
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17 May is the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day. This year’s theme Connect 2030: ICTs for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) focuses on the question how can technological advances in the next ten years bridge the digital divide and help accelerate the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). New technologies such as 5G mobile network, smart devices and systems (Internet of Things), blockchain technology, artificial intelligence are expected to improve everyday life and stimulate social and economic development, thereby enabling to achieve SDGs, e.g. reduced inequalities, quality education. 

Progress in achieving the various sustainable development goals is also measured with the share of households with Internet access and with the prevalence of Internet usage for various activities. These two, namely access to and the use of the Internet, make it possible to participate in the digital society.

In the first quarter of 2019, 89% of households with at least one member aged 16–74 years had access to the Internet. As regards the cohesion regions, 87% of households in Vzhodna Slovenija and 92% of households in Zahodna Slovenija had Internet access. 83% of individuals aged 16–74 years used the Internet regularly; 80% in Vzhodna Slovenija and 87% in Zahodna Slovenija. Regular usage of the Internet was the lowest among the elderly, i.e. among 55–64-year-olds (70%) and 65–74-year-olds (47%).  


Less than a fifth of individuals aged 16–74 years without digital skills

A precondition for participation in the digital society is in addition to the access also digital skills that enable the usage of information-communication technologies (ICT) and of digital services. The importance of mastering digital skills has become even clearer in the period of the pandemic and confrontation with the coronavirus. ICT allows us social distancing but at the same time we can keep in touch with our loved ones, we can carry out numerous activities via the Internet and work from home. 

There are four groups of digital skills: information skills, communication skills, problem-solving skills, and software usage skills. The degree of mastery or the development of each group of digital skills is measured by the usage or the implementation of individual activity within each group of digital skills by individuals. The degree of mastery is expressed by four descriptive assessments: above basic (digital skills), basic (digital skills), low (digital skills), none (digital skills).

In 2019, 31% of 16–74 year-olds in Slovenia had above basic digital skills (30% in 2017), 24% basic (the same as in 2017), 28% low (24% in 2017) and 17% no digital skills (22% in 2017). The data for the EU-28 average show that 33% had above basic digitals skills, 25% basic, 28% low and 14% no digital skills.

The share of individuals without digitals kills in Slovenia is decreasing. No digital skills had 54% of 65–74-year-olds (61% in 2017), 32% of 55–64-year-olds (44% in 2017), 10% of 45–54-year-olds (18% in 2017), 5% of 35–44-year-olds (the same as in 2017), 2% of 25–34-year-olds and 1% of 16–24-year-olds.

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Less than a third of the unemployed without digital skills

With the digitalization of the economy, digital skills are crucial in professional life. 38% of the employees and self-employed had above basic digital skills (in EU-28: 40%), 31% basic (in EU-28: 28%), 25% low (in EU-28: 26%) and 6% no digital skills, which is the same as in the EU-28.  

Among the unemployed, 11% had above basic digital skills (in EU-28: 22%), 23% basic (in EU-28: 24%), 36% low (in EU-28: 35%) and 30% no digital skills (in EU-28: 19%).  


To what extent do individuals aged 16–74 master individual digital skills and which activities are included in each group of skills?

Information skills the most developed among digital skills 

Information skills enable identification, localization, retrieval, storage and analysis of digital information and judging its relevance and purpose. 

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In 2019, 79% of 16–74-year-olds had information skills (in EU-28: 81%). 69% had above basic skills (in EU-28: 71%), 10% basic (in EU-28: 10%) and 21% no information skills (in EU-28: 19%). 

Information skills had 90% of the employees and self-employed (in EU-28: 89%) and 66% of the unemployed (in EU-28: 73%).


More than a third of the unemployed without communication skills

Communication skills enable communication with the help of digital technologies; sharing of information and content (e.g. images, text, audio-visual content). 

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78% of 16–74-year-olds had communication skills (in EU-28: 83%). 58% had above basic (in EU-28: 67%), 20% basic (in EU-28: 16%) and 22% no communication skills (in EU-28: 17%).

Communication skills had 90% of the employees and self-employed (in EU-28: 91%) and 62% of the unemployed (in EU-28: 77%).   


Less than a third of 16–74-year-olds without problem-solving skills

Problem-solving skills enable solution of technical, conceptual problems through digital means, creative use of digital tools or knowledge of web services. 

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72% of 16–74-year-olds had problem-solving skills (in EU-28: 78%). 52% had above basic (in EU-28: 59%), 20% basic (in EU-28: 19%) and 28% no problem-solving skills (in EU-28: 22%).

Problem-solving skills had 85% of the employees and self-employed (in EU-28: 88%) and 58% of the unemployed (in EU-28: 68%). 


Almost two thirds of the unemployed without software skills

Individuals with software skills have knowledge necessary for using software to create or edit content (e.g. text, images, video), produce creative content, programing, etc. 

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59% of 16–74-year-olds had software skills (in EU-28: 60%). 43% had above basic (in EU-28: 41%), 16% basic (in EU-28: 19%) and 41% no software skills (in EU-28: 40%).

Software skills had 72% of the employees and self-employed (in EU-28: 70%) and 35% of the unemployed (in EU-28: 49%). 

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METHODOLOGICAL NOTE
The survey was partly funded in the framework of the technical support activities (studies, evaluations and other bases, analyses, strategic programming documents) under the Operational Program for the Implementation of the EU Cohesion Policy in the 2014–2020 period for the goal of investments in growth and jobs, which is co-funded by the European Union Cohesion Fund and the Republic of Slovenia.
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