In the Human capital dimension, Luxembourg ranks 6th in the 2022 edition of the Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI). The country ranks above the EU average on the three digital-literacy indicators. The country’s share of ICT specialists and graduates is higher than the EU average, but there is still a shortage of ICT specialists which may impede the digitalisation of the Luxembourg economy. 64% of 16-74 year-olds in Luxembourg have at least basic digital skills, compared with the EU average of 54%. People in Luxembourg score also above the EU average in ‘above basic digital skills’ and in ‘at least basic digital content creation skills’. The country reports an increase in the share of ICT specialists as a percentage of total employment, and in this respect is well above the EU average (6.3% and 4.3% respectively). Almost 20% of ICT specialists are female, slightly above the EU average of 19%, reflecting a sharp increase of four percentage points since 2019. The share of businesses providing ICT training to their employees dropped significantly from 27% in 2019 to 21% in 2020, which is still slightly above the EU average of 20%. The share of ICT graduates in the total pool of graduates increased in 2020 compared to the previous year and remains above the EU average (6.4% and 3.9% respectively).
The Ministry of Digitalisation published the study “Digital Inclusion. An identification of the factors behind the digital divide” which is one of the initiatives foreseen in the National Plan for Digital Inclusion. Study states that in 2022, 1.5% of the residents surveyed had never used the Internet and 0.5% had used the Internet more than three months ago. The 2% of residents who do not use the internet or hardly at all are mostly women, people aged 50 and over or people with a lower level of education.
The study identifies 3 groups of Internet users: heavy Internet users (32%), medium users (40%) and low users (28%). In the “low users” group:
20% feel a high level of stress as a result of using the Internet (compared to 14% in the survey population),
24% consider that the Internet makes life more complicated (compared to 14% in the survey population),
60% are bothered by the fact that some administrative services are only available online (compared to 43% in the survey population),
55% say they are not autonomous in using the Internet (compared to 42% in the study population).
The Digital Skills and Jobs platform in Luxembourg is the « one-stop shop » for all training and news on digital skills and opportunities in Luxembourg. It was launched in 2017 by joint efforts of several national Ministries and in collaboration with the European Commission aiming to sharing and promoting digital skills initiatives to encourage matchmaking, support growth and increase outreach. Among the Coalition members are government institutions, as well as information and communication technology businesses, international consultancy companies and non-governmental organisations involved in digitals skills training and employability activities. Since 2019, WIDE, Women in Digital Empowerment Luxembourg is coordinating partner of the Coalition.
Overview of state strategies and national initiatives
Luxembourg National Action Plan for Digital Inclusion 2021 presents the concerted approach to address varied and manifold challenges (What are the priorities in terms of digital inclusion? Which solutions could be put in place) as well as the strategic levers. The government has devised this action plan to promote the inclusion of all citizens in the ongoing digital transformation in order to combat the negative effects of the digital divide on society. The Ministry for Digitalisation is leading an inter-ministerial working group that is analysing various aspects of digital inclusion and implementing coordinated actions to meet identified requirements. In addition, to ensure exhaustive consideration of the challenges posed by digital inclusion and the provision of appropriate solutions, the Ministry for Digitalisation has solicited input from a wide range of non-government stakeholders active in this field.
5G strategy for Luxembourg defines the general framework for the deployment of the 5G network. Since the introduction of the strategy, the Department of Media, Connectivity and Digital Policy (SMC) and the Government’s “Digital Luxembourg” initiative have been actively committed to promoting and fostering innovative 5G solutions and actions on multiple levels. This commitment is demonstrated by the Call for Projects I and Call for Projects II, in which retained 5G projects received financial support from the SMC. The strategy helped set a framework for the allocation of spectrum and the overall facilitation of 5G deployment at the national level. The complete strategy and the related background documentation are available on the “Digital Luxembourg” platform.
Luxembourg’s Recovery and Resilience Plan has a digital share of 31.6% contributing to the development of skills by investing €6.5 million in two vocational training programmes, “Digital Skills” and “Futureskills”, which aim to develop digital and managerial skills among job seekers. In addition, the plan includes the “Skillsdsch” reform to design training programmes for the most prospective job profiles. The single digital register for health professions and the reform redefining the competencies, duties, and responsibilities of healthcare professionals will aid in predicting shortages of healthcare professionals. The plan also includes investments amounting to €12.7 million in the modernisation of the public administration and digitalisation of public services so that people and firms can more easily access these services.
Luxembourg’s recovery and resilience plan includes an investment to Digitalise the National Employment Agency (ADEM) to address the challenges arising from the major changes affecting the labour market. The objective of this investment is to digitalise the Agency for the Development of Employment (ADEM) by upgrading its IT resources. This will increase the efficiency of ADEM notably by speeding up processes within the organisation, creating a more personalised approach and improving the execution and control of financial assistance to beneficiaries.
With an investment of 1.5 million euros, the FutureSkills programme assists job-seekers enter the labour market by equipping them with relevant soft, digital, and managerial skills via online learning and apprenticeships. Even though the Recovery and Resilience Plan project has been concluded, new job seekers continue to benefit from the e-learning licences acquired as part of the project.
MyGuichet is an application for administrative proceedings between the public administrations and citizens and businesses. With the Recovery and Resilience investment of EUR 0.86 million, new services are gradually added to the app, including applications for state aid or hunting permits. In the second half of 2023, the app will offer virtual appointments.
Funding opportunities for upskilling and reskilling to support the digital competences of individuals and organizations are available in form of loans, grants and financial instruments. For the period 2021 – 2026 most of the activities in digital transformation are financed through Recovery and Resilience facility but also as activities in Horizon, Erasmus+, ESIF and EEA grant schemes. You may find more on the page of Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition of Luxembourg and in the article on the Digital Skills and Jobs Platform.