DigInclude: Developing Digital Skills in Disadvantaged Groups

DigInclude is a two-years-long project that creates space for a well-needed digital inclusion of marginalised and disadvantaged groups of youngsters and young adults. 

With this project we address two interconnected issues that the European Union its member states are facing at the moment:

  • Access to life-long learning, up-skilling, and digital literacy for many people in Europe, especially of geographically, economically or socially disadvantaged people.
  • Wide-scale shortage in skilled workforce in the digital economy and beyond.

Why?

The skilled workforce shortage is an obvious opportunity for disadvantaged people. There is, however, often a skill gap preventing applicants from successful employment. Improving digital literacy greatly increases their chances on the job market.

Employment for disadvantaged groups is a key prerequisite to creating equal opportunities. The access to the job market, however, needs to be actually actionable in practice. A recurring pattern across various disadvantaged groups is that they are underrepresented in or even mostly excluded from digital professions. Even though the reasons for this glass ceiling are always complex, adult education is a powerful tool in addressing the problem.

Within this project we commit ourselves to:

  • create a dedicated adult learners’ community of Hungarian and Dutch people, in which ongoing dialogue, long-term community learning, and co-created, progressive community initiatives can be born.
  • support young disadvantaged individuals to improve their digital skills, literacy and wellness in order to support their employment success in a digital world.

The DigInclude project is led by SignCoders, a social enterprise from Hungary employing deaf young professionals. Hekate Conscious Ageing Foundation, in the Netherlands, is the proud partner in this project.

Hekate-SignCoders DigInclude meetings

About the project

As mentioned earlier, our societies are transforming into a digital world and many disadvantaged people have no real and proper access to related adult learning and up-skilling.

Our motivation for this project is to help both local communities with access to the digital age. Society often does not encourage disadvantaged people to pursue digital professions. The individuals concerned see very few role models around them. Furthermore, digital education is not always available barrier-free. As an example, there is very little study material in digital topics available in sign language or accessible to blind people. Consequently, a digital career path is not an available option for many disadvantaged people in practice. As a result, they are often excluded from the jobs they would prefer. That’s the glass ceiling we set out to break.

We strongly believe that post-covid economic and social recovery can, should, and in fact must be built on the intentions, wishes, and materialistic realities of local communities and the people themselves.

We also strongly believe that post-covid recovery must put an enhanced emphasis on access to digital skills and strategically shared community responsibilities.

We also strongly believe that these developments and transitions must be driven and owned by the local people themselves, which means that the process has to be accompanied by a wide range of adult learning activities and modules.

Both SignCoders and Hekate have an experience in growing and nurturing disadvantaged communities by opening digital doors for them. Our cooperation is the next step in the manifestation of this strategy in terms of the adult learning element. Putting our resources together we will be able to scale up promoting knowledge and solutions on digital skills and wellness. 

We believe that our approach is a pragmatic yet progressive social innovation to tackle complex social an economical issues. 

What’s next?

Follow our FaceBook and/or LinkedIn page to stay up-to-date with activities, possibilities and results of this project that we are so excited about!

DigInclude is a project founded by the European Union. 

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