Skills for confident and conscious use of information technology are becoming increasingly important in a changing society. In IVET, digital competence may be crucial for learners to adapt in a competitive economy. To promote digital competence, the Swedish government is proposing a strategic nationwide programme that takes IVET-specific needs into account.
The Swedish government has initiated the development of a national ICT strategy for education to promote digital competence. The objective is to improve results in education by offering equal access to ICT, regardless of geographic location or social and economic situation, plus offering continuous professional development-programmes (CPD) for teachers and staff, and revising national curricula.
Technology influences everyday life, while digital technology and tools are increasingly used in all professions. By introducing programming skills in education from early ages, the government hopes to advance gender equality and enable learners both to learn how to use digital tools and also to understand the logic with which they operate and be equipped to take part in the development of the technology and tools. The national IVET programme councils, stakeholders, experts, and teachers and students, have been consulted to identify industry-specific digital skills that IVET-learners will need to develop to stay competitive.
The government has given the National Agency for Education the mission to revise curricula, subject syllabuses and diploma goals to improve learners’ digital competence. The Child and recreation programme, for example, foresees that students provide support to children’s and young people’s use of ICT and emphasises conscious and responsible use of digital media. Learning generic tools and software used by the business is part of the Hotel and tourism programme. Industrial processes are highly automated and digitalised, so students of the Industrial technology programme will learn the logic, tools and technology that steer these processes. The goals of other programmes have been updated according to the digital competences needed in their trades.