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The ETF’s Essential Digital Skills workforce development programme returns

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The Education and Training Foundation (@E_T_Foundation), the workforce development body for the FE and Training sector, has launched the next phase of its popular CPD programme to prepare sector staff to teach new fully-funded essential digital skills courses for adult learners.

The launch follows the government’s recent announcement of Digital Skills Entitlement funding under the Adult Education Budget for 2020 to 2021. Under the entitlement adults aged 19+ who lack the basic digital skills they need for life and work will be able to access fully-funded digital skills qualifications at Entry and Level 1 from this September. New essential digital skills qualifications are being developed by awarding bodies and will be approved for funding as they are added to the Ofqual Register of Regulated Qualifications.

The aim of the ETF’s Essential Digital Skills (EDS) CPD programme is help staff from all types of learning providers to deliver these new qualifications, which are based on updated national standards covering five areas for life and work:

  1. Using and handling devices
  2. Creating and editing
  3. Communicating
  4. Transacting
  5. Being safe and responsible online.

The next phase of the CPD programme includes four key elements:

  1. An interactive self-assessment tool to identify training needs and solutions relevant to each teacher or trainer.
  2. A series of 20 short online learning modules with teaching exemplars and advice on teaching contexts, as well as digital badges to recognise achievement.
  3. An extended range of training events and professional development activities to build confidence, share practice and develop pedagogy related to different teaching contexts.
  4. An online community of practice alongside community of practice events to offer peer-to-peer support.

The training programme will support both individual practitioners and managers who need to organise training in essential digital skills for their staff. Training will be wholly online initially but may include face-to-face events in the new year. In addition to training, there is a programme of activity focused on pedagogy to teach digital skills. All the training and activities are anchored in the 20 short online training modules, which are hosted on the ETF’s user-centred, mobile-friendly Enhance Digital Teaching Platform.

The current programme builds on the successful pilot which was launched in February 2020. Already, 600 learning providers have engaged with the programme, with teachers and managers completing 3,000 self-assessments and over 10,000 online training modules.

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Vikki Liogier, National Head of EdTech and Digital Skills at the ETF, said: “We are delighted to support the sector in addressing this vital requirement to help adults with no or low digital skills to access the learning they need for both life and work. The recent ‘lockdown’ in light of Covid-19 has highlighted the importance of ensuring that everyone can access the opportunities afforded by digital technology. Our extended Essential Digital Skills programme for teachers and trainers reflects feedback from the sector with a very rich schedule of training and community engagement opportunities, backed up by online resources which allow each practitioner to control and develop their own CPD.”

The first two training events are now available for booking:

Understanding the Essential Digital Skills CPD Programme, 2 September, 2-3.30pm

Essential Digital Skills: Train the Trainer, 2-part webinar, 16 and 23 September, 10-11.30am

The Essential Digital Skills CPD Programme will continue to 31 March 2021. 

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