The Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) 2020 identifies that 42% of European Citizens lack basic digital skills. While the current COVID-19 crisis has witnessed an increase in the number of internet users, ‘the development of digital skills does not come automatically with increased usage (DESI Thematic Chapters, 2020).' As part of the Skills Agenda, the Upskilling Pathways initiative recommends the introduction of ‘coherent provision to improve the digital skills of the many millions of low-skilled or low-qualified’ citizens (On the Digital Education Action Plan, 2018).

Aware of the above context, and in response to the urgent need for digital upskilling in the rapidly evolving technological society, ADVANCE (An innovative approach to reduce the Digital divide in Vocational Education and training) project is an initiative launched to develop and implement digital upskilling tools in order to deliver quality and inclusive training/education for the most underrepresented in our society. The ADVANCE partnership is composed of six partners from: The Republic of North Macedonia, Belgium (2), Romania, the Netherlands and Scotland.

Organisations include: a public body facilitating educational opportunities; two NGO's focused on training an education, a centre for adult education and VET; an SME specialised in translating educational problems and challenges into technological solutions; and a private organisation responsible for supporting general secondary education and vocational education and training.

The ADVANCE partnership proposes an intervention at European level to prevent our low-skilled and/or low-qualified citizens being left behind in the digital environment. Applying the European Digital Competence Framework (DigComp), and the European Framework for the Personal Social and Learning to Learn key competence (LifeComp), ADVANCE project will develop and deliver cohesive learning/training resources to enhance digital and learning to learn competences.

Within the framework of this project, we will develop an accessible learning module for people who seek to enhance their digital competences. Materials will be delivered at national level, and adapted for use across the Member States, directed towards those with limited skills for accessing resources, to give them access to learning and training and to support them through the learner journey.

Further information is available from the ADVANCE project website, and the SWAPWest office on 0141 564 7206 or by email at

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