Impact of COVID-19 on SMEs and the Role of Digitalization
Advances in Research,
Small and medium sized companies (SMEs) should be drivers for national economies, also providing opportunities for socio-economic participation and mobility. But SMEs, more than bigger companies, have experienced difficulties during Covid-19 due to less customer demand for goods and services, limited resources and problems with digitalization. All these facts require rapid change in SME strategies. Based on literature research and on work with SMEs undertaken by the author during European projects, the goal of this communication paper is to illustrate some difficulties experienced by SMEs due to COVID-19 and problems they have with digitalization and skill gaps, as well as measures which could help them. First, the impact of Covid-19 on SMEs and the role of digitalization in their recovery and further developments are presented. Second, certain structures required within SMEs and necessary skills and competences are described in this context. Proposals are then made for reskilling processes within workplace learning and other learning approaches to improve the skills and competences necessary for SME recovery processes.
Lifelong learning (LLL) plays an important role in addressing the skills gap between what students have traditionally learned in formal education and the needs of employers and the labor market. LLL should be more connected with other forms of training/learning, digitally supported, interdisciplinary and practically oriented in order to contribute towards achieving the new skills and competences necessary during and after the COVID-19 pandemic and to promote digitalization as a driver to success. The paper also presents examples of the work of the Study Group Lifelong Learning of the IAT, coordinated by the author, and conclusions.
- workplace learning
- digital competences
- lifelong learning
How to Cite
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