This study aims to advance theoretical development on digital transformation (DT) skills that are essential for sustainable employment. Rapid and continuous advancements of digital technology, such as increased automation, artificial intelligence (AI), big data, cloud computing, robotics and internet of things (IoT), lead to huge transformations for society, economy, and its organizations (Ivaldi et al., 2022; Trenerry et al., 2021). For organizations to successfully transform, it is important to strongly invest in an organizational learning climate, while for employees, investment in the sustainability of their employment is key. Therefore, one of the greatest challenges is to identify and develop essential skills that contribute to both the collective learning climate and employment sustainability (Ivaldi et al., 2022).
Because previous scientific literature has focused predominantly on mapping general 21st century skills, digital competences of citizens, or essential skills for specific professions, it remains largely unclear which employee skills are essential in the context of DT.
Hence, the contribution of this study lies in identifying these essential skills and developing a comprehensive DT skills framework. The following research question is central:
Which DT skills are essential for sustainable employment and how can these skills be synthesized into a DT skills framework?