Imparting digital skills to people aged 55 years and over in the UK

Minocha, Shailey; McNulty, Catherine and Evans, Shirley (2015). Imparting digital skills to people aged 55 years and over in the UK. The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK.


This research has been conducted by The Open University, UK and has been inspired by the authors’ association with Age UK Milton Keynes. Our aim has been to present a case for imparting digital skills to people aged over 55 years of age, and to present strategies, which partnerships of academic institutions, businesses, and organisations in the voluntary sector (e.g. Age UK, Carers UK) could take forward.

Some of our recommendations include:
•the need for more robust evidence for the efficiency and effectiveness of digital inclusion initiatives for their sustainability, cost-effectiveness, and their impact;
•design of evidence-based training initiatives for digital inclusion of older people;
•highlighting the significance of digital skills training of the ageing workforce;
•aiming for digital competence in training initiatives so that people develop skills along with knowledge and attitudes – so that they can apply what they have learned to other emerging technologies, contexts, devices and platforms;
•inter-generational digital inclusion initiatives;
•improving and extending partnership working with the voluntary sector such as Age UK and Carers UK;
•Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programme(s) for senior managers on provding support to the older workforce (including carers and disabled people);
•online learning programmes and/or certification for designers/content developers - training them on the accessible (inclusive) design of online services (including websites, smart phones or mobile interfaces) and smart spaces for an ageing society.

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