Researching the links between ICT skills and employability: An analytical framework

Abstract

This article proposes an analytical framework to better understand the role of ICT skills in improving employment opportunities for low-income groups. The research draws upon the experiences of seventy NGOs that provide ICT training programs and other employment services in 23 countries around the world and explores the linkage between ICT skills and employability through three different levels of analysis: 1) From the characteristics of the NGO’s training programs and how they are tailored to different target groups; 2) Through the nature and dynamics of the NGO’s relationships with employers, donors, government agencies and other social organizations and the way that these networks impact employability outcomes; and 3) From the factors both at the individual (beneficiary) level and at the macroeconomic level that influence employment dynamics and program impact. The researchers argue that basic ICT skills are a necessary but not a sufficient condition for disadvantaged groups to improve their employment situation. The multi-level framework identifies some of the common elements that help situate the role of basic ICT skills in relation to other skills, the thresholds people cross when navigating through the employability path, and those factors that can facilitate or impede this pathway.

Recommended Citation

Garrido, M., Sullivan, J., Gordon, A., & Coward, C. (2009). Researching the links between ICT skills and employability: An analytical framework. TASCHA Working Paper. Seattle: Technology & Social Change Group (formerly the Center for Information & Society), University of Washington Information School.