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The scope issues in this workshop are very important, but they relate, rather than just to the types of skills considered, to the clarification and positioning of precisely what the proposed ICT Skills Meta-Framework is (and what it is not). Classification frameworks are highly complex, particularly abstract things as only a certain level of abstraction allows for the emergence of classifiable structure. Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), the focus of ICT skills, are also highly complex. The concepts in both involve a number of aspects of abstractness and subtlety, e.g. the degree and granularity of abstraction and questions of delineation. This results in the fact that the underlying understanding necessary to validly assess different aspects of the design of an ICT Skills Meta-Framework is not very widespread. As in the ICT market as a whole, therefore, many aspects of debates around these topics include discussions involving considerable limitations of understanding. Classification Frameworks for skills, Competences and qualifications can also be very powerful concepts, since they can be applied in a number of important ways. These include: o supporting HR and workforce development initiatives, o describing certain roles in order to present attractive images of industry activity in order to encourage people to initiate their careers or apply for jobs in this work, o helping to consistently communicate expectations about competences required by employers from individuals in order to effectively perform in given roles of the industry, o providing a valid set of "targets" - in terms of performance expectations;for education and training provision (and the qualifications awarded following successful completion of this learning), o classifying jobs in relation to recruitment and salary data, and o capturing occupational structure for statistical data collection on the workforce. The continuing changes in occupational structure in ICT work pose continuing challenges for those attempting to find adequate occupational classifications that span the economy as a whole (in particular, at the international level through the International Standard Classification of Occupations;ISCO7). The design of frameworks arises first and foremost from the intended purpose, or application. This is fundamental, since - although frameworks designed for one purpose can be, and often are, used for purposes beyond those they were designed for, they may well not be particularly well-suited for the other applications, and so may not perform effectively in that context. In short, frameworks - once created;can "take on a life of their own", and this can often produce unexpected, and sometimes undesirable, effects in other contexts. And finally, the scope of the stakeholder context is one where governments', employers' and individuals' interests are involved, from Member States with a wide range of cultures and traditions - across the three relevant "worlds" of enterprise, employment and education. Given these realities, there has, during the course of the workshop activity, understandably been a considerable amount of discussion around what is needed, not all of which has yet resulted in satisfactory conclusions or adequate consensus. The response of the project team8 to these challenges has been to work to maintain precision and clarity in relation to what is being proposed. During the course of the project, details of the structure of the proposed European Qualifications Framework emerged. The proposed EQF is of course a very important proposition, and is a major structural initiative to facilitate greater coherence for Lifelong Learning in Europe, while responding to the Lisbon objectives. The second part of the current project has therefore developed recommendations as to how ICT qualifications would relate to the proposed EQF. In clarifying the most constructive response of the ICT Skills Meta-Framework project to the emergence of the proposed EQF, it is essential to be clear about the difference between a Skills (or perhaps more correctly, a Competence) Framework and a Qualifications Framework. While most people would assume that the term qualifications relates to knowledge acquisition and academic achievement in the early years of life within the formal education system, it covers, in the European Union of today, a number of qualifications that are neither assessed or awarded in the early years within the formal education system, nor involve only the assessment of knowledge and understanding. In addition in the field of professional activity a considerable amount of professional competence is gained by means of informal and non-formal learning that has in the past not been recorded or recognized by qualifications.
|Nederlandse titel||European ICT Skills Meta-Framework - Beoordeling van de hedendaagse technologie, toelichting van de realiteit, en eisen voor volgende stappen|
|Engelse titel||European ICT Skills Meta-Framework - State-of-the-Art review, clarification of the realities, and recommendations for next steps|