Repubblica Digitale is the national strategic initiative promoted by the Ministry for Technological Innovation and Digital Transition and coordinated by the Department for Digital Transformation of the Presidency of the Council, which aims to reduce the digital divide and promote education on the technologies of the future. Digital public services must be inclusive and accessible for all, without any form of divide; possessing the necessary digital skills is crucial to fully exercise citizenship rights. 

In order to close the current gap with countries such as Germany, France, and Spain by 2025, and to make digital a real opportunity for social and economic growth, systemic actions have been defined and included in the Digital Skills Strategy Operational Plan. The Plan, published in December 2020, contains the measures deemed necessary to break down digital illiteracy and develop a necessary path of cultural change in all sectors of society.

The main targets to be achieved by 2025 are:

  • To raise the share of the population with at least basic digital skills to 70%, an increase of more than 13 million citizens compared to 2019, and close the gender gap to zero;

  • To double the population with advanced digital skills;

  • To triple the number of ICT graduates and quadruple the number of female graduates; double the share of companies using big data;

  • To increase the share of SMEs using ICT specialists by 50%;

  • To increase to 64% (fivefold) the proportion of the population using public digital services, leveling with the most advanced European countries the use of Internet among elder segments of the population (to 84% in the 65-74 age group).

We are currently in the second phase of the Digital Republic, and the main novelty is represented by the launch of a working table with the Regions, which is considered a pivotal tool for fighting the digital divide and promoting digital culture throughout Italy. The updating of the Plan was completed in order to address the new challenges that have arisen: the pandemic and the regulatory context evolution, with the introduction of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR) and the updating of the Strategic Programme for Artificial Intelligence 2022-2024 and the National Strategy for Gender Equality 2021-2026.

The update of the Plan was completed to address the new challenges presented by the pandemic and the PNRR: to reshape the main axes and to strengthen the results monitoring system 

Two distinct and synergetic paths are envisaged: the first focuses on the remodulation and design of new actions promoted by the central and regional Administrations and by the National Coalition; the second on the strengthening of the results monitoring system and of the impact of the entire National Digital Skills Strategy.

The updated Operational Plan remodels the already planned actions and introduces new ones, in order to support the expected impacts in areas of intervention that are less valued, such as those related to ICT and STEM graduates, the development of digital public services, and the promotion of the use of the Internet for active job search and educational purposes.

The Plan is divided into four axes of intervention. 

Axis 1, concerning “Digital competences in the education cycle and higher training”, has been updated with the introduction of actions provided for by the PNRR in the field of education, in the area of integrated digital didactics and training on the digital transition of school personnel, all activities relating to School 4.0: innovative schools, new classrooms and laboratories, and actions related to higher education in the investments area. 

The update of Axis 2 actions considers the PNRR investments envisaged in the area of Transition 4.0, for Ultra-fast Networks, for the strengthening, and thematic and territorial extension, of technology transfer centres for industry segments.

Axis 3, dedicated to the increase of ICT specialists, targets the stimulation of access to scientific-technological disciplines and professions. The objective is to reduce the gender gap in the ICT sector by promoting initiatives aimed at orientation, reskilling, upskilling, and career advancement.

Axis 4, aimed at citizens, is dedicated to increasing the digital skills of the entire population, with a focus on social inclusion. The update takes into account the PNRR investments earmarked for the Digital Civil Service, the Network of Digital Facilitation Services, the Operational Plan for the Support of Vulnerable Persons and the Dependent Elderly, and the reform of Active Labour Policies.