New Plans for New Digital SkillsSarah Shepherd
Apprenticeship and Skills Minister Anne Milton has launched new qualifications designed to help the 1 in 5 adults currently with no or low basic digital skills learn essential digital skills and gain confidence being online.
From August 2020, free courses will be offered to anyone 19 and over, with the nationalised standards based on the essential digital skills framework, comprising five categories deemed essential for life and work: communicating, handling information and content, transacting, problem solving, and being safe and legal online.
From 2021, digital Functional Skills qualifications will be available to help support progression into employment or further education.
Margot James, Minister for Digital and Creative Industries, said:
“Implementation of the new entitlement will be complemented by the work of our Digital Skills Partnership to boost digital skills at all levels – from the essential digital skills that support inclusion, to the digital skills we increasingly need for work, right through to the advanced digital skills required for specialist roles”.
The BSG published research earlier this year looking into the reasons given by the 8% of the UK population who had never been online. Whilst lack of interest scored quite highly as a reason given, lack of skills and confidence in ability to learn how to use the internet is a considerable barrier, further compounded by low awareness of the courses and schemes available, a fate that hopefully won’t befall this new offering.