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Online education to support digital skills training for economic growth

Digitalisation continues to grow in many sectors, resulting in significant demand for skills-based education and training – Here, Professor Neil Morris argues for growth of online education

Millions of individuals in the UK do not have ‘the essential digital skills for life and work [i]. In 2017, the UK Government called for a major shift in the provision of digital skills training, to meet the demands of the industry during the so-called ‘4th industrial revolution’ [ii]. The UK Government’s Digital Strategy places great emphasis on the need for digital skills: ‘For the UK to be a world-leading digital economy that works for everyone, it is crucial that everyone has the digital skills they need to fully participate in society’ [iii]. Demand for digital skills

Prior to the pandemic, advances in technology were already disrupting industries such as manufacturing, commerce, banking, science, transport, medicine and engineering, and individuals entering these sectors need a high level of digital skills to be employable and productive. However, a UK think-tank estimated that over 12 million people and a million small businesses in the UK do not have sufficient digital skills to prosper [iv]. The Skills Funding Agency estimates that within twenty years 90% […]

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