Skip navigation

Digital Skills

Technology has revolutionised the way we work, but more than half of UK employees (53%) do not have the digital skills needed for work.

These skills can be anything from being able to avoid suspicious links and pop-ups to sharing documents by attaching to an email.

Digital skills can increase business productivity and employees can use digital technology to become more productive at work. For example, digital documents can be created, stored and accessed more efficiently than printed versions.

According to Microsoft, in the next two decades 90% of jobs will require some form of digital skills. By investing in the right digital skills training for employees now, they are more likely to outperform their peers – developing organisations’ competitive edge.

A digitally competent workforce can find new ways of working and embracing these changes will help build a highly satisfied workforce, keen to collaborate, communicate and be more efficient.

Essential Digital Skills

This Department for Education’s national Essential Digital Skills Qualifications standards are intended to be used by everyone in the UK involved in supporting adults to improve their essential digital skills.
The framework also informs the Lloyds Bank Consumer Digital Index, which involves a basic digital skills survey of 9,000 people. The 2018 report found that in the UK:

  • 11.3 million people (21%) lack the full basic digital skills
  • 4.3 million (8%) have no basic digital skills at all
  • 5.4 million working adults
  • (10%) are without basic digital skillspeople with a registered disability are 4 times as likely to be offline
  • 28% of those aged 60+ are offline

The standards set out the digital skills needed for life and work across five skills areas:

  • Using devices and handling information
  • Creating and editing
  • Communicating
  • Transacting
  • Being safe and responsible online

Each of the skills areas is comprised of skills statements that represent distinct, independent skills.

The NOCN qualifications cover the full range of skills statements to give learners the sort of comprehensive learning experience which will enable them to participate in a digital society. Assessment is holistic and covers all skills areas. The assessments are online assessments, set by NOCN and made available to learners on NOCN’s e-assessment platform.

The qualifications are included in the national entitlement for digital skills and they are fully funded for eligible learners.