Booking has opened for the Education and Training Foundation’s (ETF) free face-to-face training and online workshops to support staff involved in delivering courses for the upcoming Essential Digital Skills entitlement.
As from September 2020, adults aged 19 and over with no or low digital skills will be entitled to free training to develop their digital skills, in line with existing maths and English entitlements. Demand for courses is anticipated to be high and there is interest in delivery from all parts of the Further Education (FE) and Training sector.
According to the Lloyds Bank UK Consumer Digital Index 2019, more than half of working-age adults in the UK – 17.3 million people in total – do not have the essential digital skills they need for work.
In addition, the survey found that 11.9 million people lack the digital skills they need for everyday life in the connected world in which we now live.
In response, the Department for Education (DfE) introduced new national standards in April 2019, replacing the basic ICT standards published in 2006. The new standards cover five areas reflecting the way in which we now live online:
- Using devices and handling information – using devices, finding and evaluating information, managing and storing information, identifying and solving technical problems
- Creating and editing – creating and editing documents and digital media, processing numerical data
- Communicating – communicating, sharing and managing traceable online activities
- Transacting – using online services, buying securely online
- Being safe and responsible online – protecting privacy and data, being responsible online, digital wellbeing.
The Essential Digital Skills training events and webinars are part of a broader CPD package commissioned by DfE from the ETF to support the FE sector in delivering the new entitlement, which also includes:
- An interactive self-assessment tool
- A series of 20 short online learning modules
- Development of a community of practice to offer peer-to-peer support
- A multimedia toolkit to provide guidance on the CPD package.
The self-assessment toolkit, the online learning modules and the community of practice will be hosted on the ETF’s Enhance Digital Teaching Platform, which has already proved a popular resource for teachers and trainers seeking to develop their digital skills. The CPD package will be free to all staff.
The face-to-face training workshops will take place in Bristol, Leeds and London, starting on 29 January. Webinars are also being provided for those who cannot attend face-to-face training. It is anticipated that the programme will be particularly helpful for those teachers and trainers who are not ICT specialists but rather will deliver digital skills training as part of another learning programme such as ESOL or Preparation for Life and Work. The aim of the training is to build confidence and share practice related to different teaching contexts.