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Why digital inclusion is important for work-based skills

It’s Skills for Work Week (15-21 May), a new campaign which encourages all workplaces across Wales to run events, to promote the value of investing the development of skills in the workplace

Skills for Work Week includes the following theme days:

Monday 15th May: What Employers Want day
Wednesday 17th May: Apprentices and Trainees day
Friday 19th May: Job Swap day

Among the training we deliver on Digital Communities Wales, we support the frontline staff and volunteers of organisations to acquire new and improved digital skills. In some cases, the people we support have very limited experience of digital technology and going online, simply because their jobs do not require them to have those skills or use such equipment. In other cases we’ve worked with people who use digital tech all the time, whether it’s e-mail, websites, social media, apps and other digital information services. People from both camps have gone on to not only become more digitally aware and tech savvy, but have cascaded those skills through their organisations, helping colleagues and customers to become more digitally included.

Digital skills in the workplace are commonplace today and have been for some time, but have become increasingly important as the speed of change increases. If you’re not in work you’re less likely to have work-based digital skills. We’ve worked with many organisations who support people to improve their digital literacy and competency as they’re looking for work and dealing with the benefits system. Job clubs up and down the country are helping people to type out CVs using Word, searching and applying for jobs online, setting up an e-mail account, signing up for Universal Jobmatch and ensuring their own online presence aids their cause for employability. A number of the digital volunteers we’ve supported are regularly helping jobseekers in local libraries to do some of these tasks.

Here’s a quote from someone who attended one of our accredited courses: “I fully enjoyed the whole session around engaging adults and young people to get them digitally included. It was an excellent reminder that sometimes you really do need to take it back to the bare bones for some people and that is something I’ll be passing on to our volunteers. I will be encouraging them to undertake similar training as it’ll be an excellent experience for them, and can only help their own personal development.”

If you’d like to see some of our work in action, that supports people in the workplace, take a look at this video about digital inclusion at Newport City Council, while our video on the Digital Inclusion Charter looks at how some organisations are investing in the digital skills of their workforce.