Digital competences characterisation
The Portugal INCoDe.2030 Initiative is framed in the international context and aims to improve Portugal’s position and competitiveness, working towards securing a prominent place in terms of digital skills in the period 2017-2030.
This movement, which the Portugal INCoDe.2030 Initiative aims to materialise, should be accompanied by stronger participation in international scientific and technological collaboration networks, primarily in Europe and North America (to safeguard Portugal’s Atlantic specificities within the EU), in the Portuguese-speaking countries and in the Mediterranean countries of North Africa, and in the most relevant international fora dealing with transformation to the digital society and economy, particularly in the EU, OECD and UN, in order to achieve increased visibility, and contribute to opening new markets and attracting talents to Portugal in these areas.
Portugal’s current position in Europe, the challenges to be addressed, the quantification of the measures taken and the results achieved over time as a result of this programme can be understood through a set of indicators grouped into 5 categories: access, human capital, use, investment, and training and certification (Figure 2).
Figure 2 – Digital Competences Indicators
% of households with internet access (2016)
% of individuals who have never used the internet (2016)
% of individuals who frequently use the internet (2016)
% of individuals with basic or better-than-basic digital competences
% of ICT specialists in employment (2015)
Number of higher education graduates in Science, Mathematics, Technology and Engineering per thousand inhabitants (20-29 years old)
No. of doctorates per thousand inhabitants (25-34 years old)(2014)
% of employees who use computers with an internet connection at work (2016)
% of SMEs with a high level of digital intensity (2015)
% of individuals who have used the internet for online banking (last 3 months)
% of individuals who have used the internet to use online public services (last 12 months) (2016)
Total gross domestic expenditure on R&D (GERD) in percentage of GDP (2015)
Business enterprise sector expenditure on R&D (BERD) in percentage of GDP (2015)
Digital competences goals for Portugal 2030
In terms of access, the goal is to evaluate the situation of the infrastructure in place for accessing the internet. Even though the existence of access conditions does not mean they are being used effectively, this programme is geared towards stimulating the development of digital competences.
In the area of human capital, the population’s digital competences are assessed both globally and in terms of the impact on employability. Here, indirect indicators that are relevant to the programme are also taken into account, such as the number of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) graduates, and the number of PhDs.
The use category describes how the Portuguese population uses digital tools in their personal life and at work.
The investment category analyses the total expenditure of companies on R&D, which is so relevant to principles 4 and 5 of the programme. Although they are context indicators, they are key to describing the overall picture of qualification.
Finally, regarding training and certification, a set of five indicators of a slightly different nature are considered. This is because, even though they are linked to human potential, they do not measure the present state of qualifications, but rather the effectiveness of the measures taken to improve them in several areas of digital competences.
The selected indicators are defined internationally. As a result, it is possible to compare Portugal’s performance against a set of countries in Europe and the OECD and set goals to achieve (Table 1).