Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Anne Milton announced the launch of the DfE’s "Improving adult basic digital skills" consultation during Get Online Week 2018. The consultation will run until 10 January 2019 and everyone with an interest in improving adult basic digital skills is invited to give their views.
The consultation seeks views on overhauling the current national standards for core digital skills, and on creating new national standards to set out the basic digital skills needed for life and work. This includes plans to introduce improved basic digital skills qualifications at 2 levels:
- ‘Beginner’ - designed for adults with little or no prior experience of using digital devices or the internet
- ‘Essential’ - designed for adults with some experience of using digital devices and the internet, but lacking the full range of basic digital skills needed for life and work
The government is also seeking views on arrangements to introduce a national entitlement to basic digital skills training from 2020 – this would be offered along with existing entitlements for English and maths and allow all adults without basic digital skills to enrol on the new qualifications free of charge.
This consultation follows last year’s publication of the UK Digital Strategy and the announcement that the government will invest £1.4 million in digital skills to improve sector diversity and representation. Digital skills also form a core part of new apprenticeships and the new T Levels programmes.