How to offer essential digital skills to your learners.


Want to offer Essential Digital Skills to your learners? Here is how...

Being confident in using technology is something that has been thrust into nearly all our lives over the past 18 months. Whether it be adapting to using video conferencing for work or simply downloading and ‘checking in’ to locations for Track and Trace, more and more of our lives are led by digital interaction. With digital advancing all the time, as an adult it is easy to lose confidence or bypass things as you are not using things as regularly or simply are afraid of making a mistake.

With 1 in 5 adults not having basic digital skills, this increasingly digital world can be seen as being more inaccessible than ever. Therefore we need to think differently and see digital skills not as just IT skills for ‘tech people’ but as a critical and foundational skill for ALL just as it is with basic English and maths.

This is where Essential Digital Skills (EDS) comes in. Based on the new national standards, EDS is a learning programme developed for anyone who wants to develop their knowledge, skills and ability to interact digitally.

Since August 2020, there has been a national entitlement to fully fund all adults aged 19+ (16-19 year olds are funded as part of a study programme) who don’t have the basic digital skills typically required for work and life through the Essential Digital Skills.

This foundational and critical programme can be used as part of the regulated Essential Digital Skills Qualification (EDSQ) or form part of your non-regulated/ community learning programmes which makes it flexible for all your learners to level up their digital skills.

Want to offer EDSQ to your learners? This is our advice on getting started:

Who can do this qualification?

  • 16-19 year olds undertaking a Study Programme.
  • 19+ Adults who need to build confidence in their digital skills whether employed or unemployed.
  • Can be used as a stand alone qualification or can be used with other qualifications and units.
  • Learners preparing for work or returning to work.
  • Employed learners that want to develop their digital skills.
  • Part of your Restart provision.
  • In community learners.

Legal Entitlement

  • Only Essential Digital Skills qualifications can be used for the adult legal entitlement – now the fourth legal entitlement.
  • Essential Digital Skills qualifications available at Entry 3, and;
  • Level 1 funded for both adults and 16-19 learners.

Funding Policy

  • AEB funded (£300 per learner).
  • Can be delivered flexibly under local flexibility.
  • Where appropriate for the learner, you can deliver local flexibility provision alongside a legal entitlement provision.
  • Can be delivered as non-regulated provision.

How do I integrate this into our provision?

The beauty of this qualification is that it fits across all provision, all sectors and all methods of teaching. Digital skills is now a critical foundational skill so can be accessed and delivered across all your provision. We have put a handy list of how you could integrate below;

  • Traineeships and Study Programmes; Works alongside work placement preparation and fits alongside functional skills in advance of apprenticeships.
  • SWAPs; Sits with Level 1 Award qualifications across all SWAPs.
  • Part of Job Centre Plus programmes as well as Kickstart; Part of a personalized set of components specific to the learners needs or delivered as a stand alone programme.
  • Part of your AEB programme to upskill/ reskill those employed or unemployed as a key component of your offer.

How do we deliver this?

The good news is we can help! As a specialist in digital skills we have developed an initial assessment and learning resource that can fit into your own LMS and covers all the modules, GLH and most importantly …allows the learner to practice their skills in a safe environment. Want to know more? 

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