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Digital training? Often still a private matter!

The Google Cloud booth at SCCON 2023 - in the foreground people listening to a presentation by a Google expert

Many major German cities are still relying on the individual responsibility of their administrative staff when it comes to acquiring knowledge and skills in the field of digitalisation. A special evaluation as part of the Smart City Index 2023 shows that only 57 per cent of the cities surveyed have a binding training concept for teaching digital skills to their administrative staff.

"Smart City projects also include the teaching of digital skills and digital participation for everyone," emphasises Michael Pfefferle, Smart City expert at Bitkom. "That's why the fifth Smart City Index took the future topic of education into account for the first time and integrated the cities' progress into the overall ranking."

In other areas, the major cities are already much further ahead. For example, 84 per cent of schools have a binding media development concept that has been agreed with the school authorities, and 93 per cent of large cities have a digitalisation officer who is responsible for IT administration at the schools as well as for advising and strategically developing them. 9 out of 10 cities have also focussed on the group of senior citizens in order to improve digital participation: 89 per cent have digital mentors or a contact point for older people in particular.

"What is often forgotten: Digital cities don't just mean using the latest technologies, they also require an update to the training and further education of specialists in public authorities. This includes expertise in digital processes or new work, but also knowledge of the challenges of data protection and cyber security," emphasises Michael Pfefferle.

A total of 12,717 data points were collected, reviewed and qualified for the Smart City Index 2023. All 81 cities with a population of over 100,000 were analysed and evaluated, covering the five areas of administration, IT and communication, energy and the environment, mobility, society and education.

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