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Digital Life Skills - Can Do Better

We are still not doing enough to develop the IT skills of adults across the country.  According to a report produced by Baroness Estelle Morris, 11.6 million people in England need basic computing skills training. 

But first things first – the term IT Skills has been replaced by the latest buzz words, and is now known as Digital Life Skills. This basically means the set of basic ICT skills an individual requires to use a computer to safely enter, access and communicate information online.

Traditionally, providers in the welfare to work sector have struggled to provide adequate IT equipment to meet the needs of customers. This is a regular finding within Ofsted inspections, and is typical of our own experience as consultants. However, a number of providers are now developing e-learning platforms for use by staff and clients, and this approach is starting to grow across the industry. But we still need to do more.

The report (see below) finds that:

  • the proportion of people using IT in their job has nearly doubled to 77%, with an estimated 22 million people using technology at work.  
  • jobs are increasingly advertised on line and recruitment processes are increasingly electronic.  
  • E-learning is on the increase.  
  • people who are digitally excluded are more likely to suffer unemployment in a time of recession, and are at a disadvantage in finding and securing a new job. A recent survey found that adults who were able to use ICT were 25% more confident about finding a job than non-users.
There is also evidence that adults with a basic foundation of digital skills are more likely to stay engaged in learning and more likely to progress and achieve successfully.  So if you want increased retention and success rates .... what are you waiting for?!
The review recommends access to free training in basic ICT skills for adults who do not have such skills. It promotes the idea of an ‘Entitlement’ to Digital Life Skills to provide adults with up to nine hours of funded support to develop the skills needed to get online. The government is now considering the recommendations.
In the meantime, how about filling those long empty “jobsearch” sessions with a bit of Digital Life Skills development, and help your clients get ahead of the game.

ICT User Skills Review

Click the PDF logo to download the Review of ICT User Skills

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