How important is it to have access to Digital Skills?
With the government implementing that children with free school meals are to have free internet access, how important is having the right digital skills?
During lockdown more of us have had to use the internet to connect for work, learning and socialising. We are relying on it more and more which can put some of us at an advantage over others. Digital exclusion is starting to become more noticeable in our society and has only been highlighted more during this time. With ‘17% of UK households’, not having access to the internet.
With the closure of libraries, cafes and other places where Wi-Fi can be accessed for free. It has become extremely hard for some of us to get online at all. This could mean for some, they would have difficulty being able to apply and search for jobs, pay bills, see loved ones or learn new skills with online courses.
With volunteer groups like Jangala, a charity that specialises in providing the internet in disaster zones, shifting their focus to the UK with a trial to connect 60 people at a homeless shelter in Brighton. The effect of having this access is going to have a profound effect, as services and other day to day things will be available to them again. The government have also lifted broadband data caps, so we are able to use as much as we can but when people have to choose between data and food, does it go far enough?
It has been shown that if you can get people online it will help in all areas of their life. From improved grades at school, getting job opportunities and access to digital skills. Giving people home access to learn and quality digital skills, allows people to learn informally and access resources that they may not able to access otherwise. Digital skills are going to become more important as we become more technical in the workplace. Enabling everyone to have the same opportunity to use the internet or learn these skills is going to be key. Having courses that can provide people with digital skills, will boost the opportunities available to them. The House of Lords have stated that digital skills should be taught as a third core subject and be just as important as Maths and English. With digital skills entering all areas of the work place it should not be something that we should be afraid off, neglect or exclude anyone from accessing. It should be an opportunity for anyone of any age to go into a new sector or improve their job opportunities. People with these skills are being looked for by employers and future proofing the workforce.
At Free2learn we also value the need for the internet and digital skills to help our society improve and develop. With our digital skills course you can master the skills employers will be looking for and understand future job roles. Go to: https://free2learn.org.uk/digital-skills/ and register your interest today.