Newly published CWAs contribute to solving the digital divide in Europe 

ICT is evolving rapidly these days - it is evident that digital skills are becoming increasingly important and require constant updating. The publication of the CEN Workshop Agreements (CWAs) 16458 parts 1 to 4 aims to address e-skills shortages, gaps and mismatches, which are causing a persisting digital divide affecting productivity, growth, competitiveness, innovation, employment and social cohesion in Europe. The CWAs support the employment strategy for ICT, particularly  increasing  the amount of highly qualified workers and the promotion of digital skills across the workforce.

CWA 16458-1 on the 'European ICT Professional Role Profiles' is a key contribution to increasing transparency and convergence in the European ICT Skills landscape. Incorporating the competences of the European e-Competence Framework (also known as 'e-CF', EN 16234-1) as a main component of profile descriptions, the 30 ICT Professional Role Profiles provide a generic set of typical roles performed by ICT Professionals in any organisation, covering the full ICT business process.

CWA 16458-2 describes the many ways of applying the 30 typical ICT Profiles described in this CEN Workshop Agreement. This User Guide provides pragmatic explanations on how to apply European ICT Professional Role Profiles from multiple stakeholder perspectives and for a broad range of application purposes, such as, for example, HR planning, recruitment, digital transformation process support, curriculum design and qualifications.

CWA 16458-3, dedicated to 'Methodology Documentation', aims to provide confidence to users that the European ICT Professional Role Profiles have been developed by applying a sound conceptual framework combined with in-depth ICT sector and HR development expertise, and after thorough and widespread stakeholder consultation.

Finally, CWA 16458-4 presents case studies on the experience of a variety of organizations using European ICT Professional Role Profiles to address e-skills gaps from different perspectives. The different perspectives are presented from the viewpoint of one of the following groups: ICT professionals, HR managers, education and training, market researchers and policy makers, procurement managers and professional associations.

The published CWAs will have an important impact, as they meet Europe’s strong need to develop sufficient appropriate skills and competences for workers at all sectors and levels, from beginner to ICT professional, to boost the digital economy and society as a whole. Closing the gap between the number of job seekers and the amount of vacant digital jobs are among the main priorities of the European economy. In this context, the 16458 series CWAs, together with EN 16234-1 ‘e-Competence Framework (e-CF) – A common European Framework for ICT Professionals in all industry sectors’, will contribute to the development of the European Digital Single Market, making sure that it is designed to meet the needs of companies of all sizes and solve the lack of e-skills across Europe.

All four CWAs are freely available for download on the CEN-CENELEC website

The CEN Workshop Agreements (CWAs) were developed by CEN/WS 'ICT', whose Technical Secretariat is held by AFNOR.

For more information, please contact Constant Kohler.