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China to Improve Citizens’ Digital Skills

As the digital economy driven by information technology is developing rapidly in China, the country highly values the popularisation of digital skills among its people. The Cyberspace Administration recently released a report on the development of Digital China, saying that China gained the world’s second-largest digital economic aggregate during its 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-20), making digitalisation a key to boosting high-quality economic growth. The Gross domestic product (GDP) attributable to the added value of core digital industries was 7.8% in 2020.

Statistics of the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) indicate that the number of Chinese netizens has reached 989 million, accounting for one-fifth of the global amount. The user scale of various internet-based applications for business trade, public service and internet entertainment has also been growing. Experts say that improving digital skills will help people benefit from digital technological achievement and promote the use of public resource in remote areas.

The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MOHRSS) recently released a plan to increase digital skill education and training to the public to help more people reap the promise of digital development. Digital capacity refers to solving problems by using digital technologies and relevant tools. He said that an all-people digital skill education and training activity can help promote industrial digitalisation and digital industrialisation. It will make consumers more capable of using more kinds of products and able to experience better digital services.

CNNIC’s statistics show that there were nearly 260 million netizens in their 50s and above and 160 million under 20 years old in China by the end of 2020. With different backgrounds and learning capacities, there is unevenness in digital capacity among these groups. Experts said that the plan of digital skill education will play a role in minimising the gap and help people from all walks of life benefit from digital services. The training should target real demands and scenario design and different teaching methods are also needed to reach different people. In addition, the need for talents with digital capacity has grown in recent years.

The China Academy of Information and Communications Technology recently released a report on newly created digital employment, occupations and positions. According to a report on new job online learning platform development, occupations like digital managers, Artificial Intelligence (AI) engineering technicians and Internet of Things (IoT) technicians draw the most user attention.

Professional digital technological talents are at this time urgently needed in the market as the technical skill training of these new occupations is still in an initial stage. Therefore, the plan mentions methods for improving policies, strengthening talent cultivation, promoting the talent assessment system, holding vocational skills competitions and enhancing basic capacity for talent training.

Regarding the cultivation of digital talents, colleges and universities should deepen students’ understanding of digital technologies and cultivate talents for the colleges’ advantages. Talent cultivation systems should be oriented to the market and enterprises’ needs to help improve the unbalanced situation of the current labour market.

Setting professional standards and specification for innovative digital technical talents is also an indispensable way for talent development. A netizen is a basic object and the primary unit of the internet world and their digital capacity is the future of the internet and digitalisation. progress in the digital society is based on digital technologies the development of which calls for digital skill. Improving people’s digital technical skills, therefore, plays a crucial role in social development.

This initiative is in line with China’s goal to be a leader in science and technology by improving the quality of its talent resources. As reported by OpenGov Asia, China has taken a great leap forward in scientific and technological strength over recent years, with major achievements across key fields. Maximising the abundant talent and human resources in the new situation is critical. China also aims to boost the role of scientific and technological innovation in driving economic and social development.

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