In education, school and university, as well as in the education, training and retraining of the people in the company, we should marry and implement, make ourselves, the English motto “Walk your talk”, or our legs give what we say. One of the problems of our country is that there is often a big difference between intent and impact, that is, what we say, promise to do, and what actually happens. Which is not so much related to what we work, but to the impact that our actions and decisions have on our territory and on our country.
To ensure that we move from intention to impact, we need concrete actions and above all tools that work. It is therefore necessary to focus on a few key points. When and when we talk about digital education, we must act on three levels of competence: awareness, that is to say awareness, which must be universal and widespread, because every human being must have basic digital skills. Everyone, without exception, as well as all people must be able to read and write. We then need specialized skills, ie technicians, specialized people who also work in the research world. Finally, we need great strategic and market skills from our management, who too often have no idea about the impact of digital on the functioning of companies.
These three dimensions of competencies have three very different scales and three requirements for modulation of training activities, also from the point of view of the tools. This requires action that can be modular throughout the country. To do this, three different actors need to be involved: businesses, universities and schools, the state.
To reaffirm the motto ‘walk the talk’, we must ask companies: do we really want to invest in people, or do we only do this when we use public money, sometimes not optimally? Do we want to improve the quality of work or do we think of smart work as a form of work in which we reduce the remuneration and the quality of the work produced? Do we really want to recognize concrete opportunities for the young people we employ, who guarantee the right remuneration that contributes to the growth of our businesses?
At universities and schools, on the other hand, we must remember that everyone must do his job well, without deceiving himself, that he can do everything well. Take the university for example: it can not do everything, it is not structured to do everything. For this reason, it is certainly not in competition with ITS, which are typically agile structures, close to companies. Structures very different from those of the universities that are to fulfill their institutional role, that is to say, to increase the number of graduates, to offer a qualitative education and training. At the national level, we need a range of instruments and actors that deal with different aspects of education and training, precisely because we have to climb and because each actor has to carry out its mission in the best possible way.
What can the state do? We need capacity planning for the training system, starting with the university. For example, it is often said that we in Italy need more engineers, but that is why we can certainly not double the number of students in university departments that are already much more welcoming than European or American universities. At present, there is certainly a distribution of resources that does not reflect the training needs of professional figures sought by companies in our territory.
Finally, the state can provide for some simple intervention tools. If we look at the recent history and funding provided by the PNRR, we see how often new boxes are created, networking systems that escape their significance and overall efficiency. We do not need to add any complexity to the system. We need some clear tools that bring the added value that is so badly needed.