Background and outline:
The documents of the World Economic Forum (2023), Eurostat data (2023), and analyses carried out by McKinsey & Company (2022) or UNESCO (2022) warn that the next decade will bring significant changes to the labor market and to the type of skills that young people must acquire to integrate professionally. The conclusions drawn from the data and analyses of these institutions claim that: more than half of the current workforce will require retraining to remain on the labor market; Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and advanced programming skills are expected to increase by up to 90% by 2030; basic digital skills have become the second most important skill category, with the fastest growth in recent years (65% in Europe alone) and continue its upward trend. The ability to use and apply digital information is one of the key skills necessary for young people to have access to the labor market, for future socio-economic mobility, in all countries, but especially in developing countries. Also, another aspect pointed out is the need to eliminate the digital gap between young people in the TVET system, thereby ensuring sustainable socio-economic development. The importance of the relationship between education and ICT is also recognized by the fact that it occupies a special place in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in particular Target 4.4. (”By 2030, substantially increase the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, for employment, decent jobs, and entrepreneurship”).
To respond to these challenges, all countries seek to provide valuable tools and curricula adapted to the development of digital skills to the young generation, but also to those who need or face the need for retraining, but a limited number of them have developed institutions to support the achievement of this objective. The lack of support makes it difficult to develop specific policies and measures on digital skills development, appropriate curriculum design, and adaptation of skills training and active labor market programs (ALMP) to current and future demand. Also, where there is an important share of the disadvantaged young population (NEETs, young people with special needs, young people from disadvantaged socio-economic, family, and cultural backgrounds), the interventions must lead to the development of holistic measures that promote social inclusion and professional, mentoring programs proven to be crucial for the future of this category of young people. Also, not only students need guidance and support, but also teachers who have to identify the most suitable ways to prepare young people for the future, and for this the development of continuous professional training programs that include ICT becomes a priority.
Through this special issue, we aim to support the exchange of ideas, solutions, and measures regarding the importance of ICT in the future preparation of young people in the TVET system, stimulate discussions, and present new research directions regarding the use of ICT in the learning process to understand and responds to current challenges on the labor market, and to the problems related to the process of social and professional inclusion of young people.
At the same time, we dedicate this special issue to the promotion and dissemination of the results obtained through the project PREDICT - Jobs of the future with AI 4 VET Inclusion (Erasmus+ 2022-1-PT01-KA220-VET-000085485 https://predict.ipsantarem.pt/), a project implemented by: IP Santarém (Portugal), ICCV (Romania), Endurae Voice Technology (Estonia), ShipCon Limassol Ltd. (Cyprus) and Aintek Symvouloi Epicheiriseon Efarmoges Ypsilis Technologias Ekpaidefsi Anonymi Etaireia (IDEC) (Greece).
Scientific contributions characterized by originality or innovation regarding the approach to the relationship between ICT and TVET are encouraged, which aim to answer questions related to the type of knowledge and skills necessary to be transmitted to young people from TVET education to ensure their integration into a labor market profoundly transformed by the current forms of work organization and technological development. Last but not least, we will appreciate analyses regarding the cooperation between TVET and other institutions and organizations public or private at the national and international levels with competencies in validating the professional knowledge and skills needed by young people for successful professional integration.
We welcome theoretical and empirical articles on the application of new sustainability analysis and assessment techniques in thematic areas (not limited to) such as:
- Labor market and occupational conditions
- Poverty, inequality, and social and professional exclusion
- Education quality
- Sustainable Development
- The selection will be based on the Quality of Life Journal editorial policy, available at: https://www.revistacalitateavietii.ro/journal/ethics-statement
- The submission of abstracts should comply with the following guidelines:
- Abstracts should be in English, French, or Spanish.
- Authors whose proposals (abstracts) are selected by guest editors taking into account the specifics of the special issue will be invited to send the full paper through the journal submission system available at https://revistacalitateavietii.ro/journal/about/submissions
- Abstract submission: January 2024 to April 2024
- Manuscript submission (open): May 2024 to October 2024
- Final manuscript submissions to the publisher: December 2024
- Editorial foreword and Publication: March 2025
 Future of Jobs Report 2023, INSIGHT REPORT MAY 2023, World Economic Forum, https://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_Future_of_Jobs_2023.pdf
 Eurostat database 2023, https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/web/digital-economy-and-society/data/database
 McKinsey Technology Trends Outlook 2022, Report, August 2022, https://www.mckinsey.com/~/media/mckinsey/business%20functions/mckinsey%20digital/our%20insights/the%20top%20trends%20in%20tech%202022/mckinsey-tech-trends-outlook-2022-full-report.pdf
 Transforming technical and vocational education and training for successful and just transitions: UNESCO strategy 2022-2029, https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000383360
 Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, United Nations, https://sdgs.un.org/sites/default/files/publications/21252030%20Agenda%20for%20Sustainable%20Development%20web.pdf