The government will provide free courses to adults with little or no digital skills in order to help them thrive in an increasingly digital world.
The Gov.UK website explains that one fifth of adults currently possess no or low digital skills. The new qualifications, announced by apprenticeships and skills minister Anne Milton, will be made available to people aged over 19 from 2020.
Based on new and rigorous national standards, the qualifications will help adults master skills like using a tablet, sending emails and filling out online forms. Skills that many of us who have grown up surrounded by technology take for granted.
Studies reveal that nowadays, digital skills are as crucial as English and Maths when it comes to getting a job. It’s predicted that 90% of all jobs will require digital knowledge in some form, despite one in five adults currently lacking that knowledge.
In summary, the new plans include:
- A range of essential digital skills qualifications that meet standards set by exams regulator Ofqual.
- A digital Functional Skills qualification available from 2021, that will aid progression into further education or employment and help adults develop skills for everyday life.
Anne Milton stressed that she wants people of all ages to have both the skills and confidence for work and everyday life.
She said that the fifth of adults who don’t possess digital skills are essentially being cut off from a wealth of opportunities – including accessing new jobs, further study, and even being able to keep in touch with friends and family.
“I am thrilled to launch the new ‘essential digital skills’ qualifications which will give adults the chance to develop a whole host of new skills to help get ahead in work, but also to improve their quality of life overall,” she concluded.
Adults with no or low digital skills will be fully funded to take the qualifications. They will receive support to use digital devices such as smartphones, laptops and tablets, and to carry out everyday activities such as navigating the internet, sending emails and making online payments.
The plans support steps already taken to ramp up the government’s digital offer which includes making computing a compulsory national curriculum subject and introducing a new Computer Science GCSE and A Level.
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