Earlier this year the UK Government published new national standards for essential digital skills. Essential digital skills are those needed by adults “to safely benefit from, participate in and contribute to the digital world”. Research from Lloyd’s Bank (UK Digital Consumer Index 2019) shows that 4.1 million adults (8%) in the UK are offline and 11.9 million people (22%) lack the full basic digital skills.
With all aspects of our lives becoming increasing digitised it is important that everyone can gain and use the skills they need. This matters for work and leisure, for accessing services and for keeping in touch with each other. There are a host of free resources available to help people learn digital skills, from the very basics right through to being a certified “digital expert”.
- Learn My Way is an online learning platform that offers free courses to help beginners get started with the online basics such as using a mouse, setting up an email account and using internet search engines. Learn My Way is run by the Good Things Foundation, the UK’s leading digital inclusion charity. As well as offering online learning resources the Foundation runs a network of online centres where people can go for hands on support with digital skills. The online centres become a hive of activity every October for Get Online Week.
- The Lloyd’s Bank Academy offers online video lessons and resources, alongside face-to-face sessions to help people gain and improve their basic digital skills, with a focus on gaining employment. The accompanying Digital Champions programme encourages people to offer their own skills to help colleagues, family and friends to improve their digital skills.
- Google Garage offers online courses, mostly focussed around marketing and running a business online, with a range of topics to help people start a career, grow a business, and become a “digital expert”.
The City Innovation Team at Bristol City Council are working with colleagues and partners to build our digital inclusion programme, with a focus on responsible and ethical development of technology in the city. Digital technology has the potential to bring social and economic benefits to the city, but only if it is relevant, meets real needs and does not further enforce social divides.
What online tools and resources do you use to make your life easier? Share these with us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.