The fast pace of technological change and the ubiquity of digital technologies in all aspects of work and life places new demands on everyone. The Essential Digital Skills Framework defines the skills needed to safely benefit from, participate in and contribute to the digital world of today and the future.

The framework is intended to be used by everyone in the UK engaged in supporting adults to enhance their essential digital skills. The benefits of working to a common framework include enabling progression and transferability of skills – as well as facilitating measurement. This is the first update of the Basic Digital Skills Framework since its original publication in 2015. Changes have been subject to wide consultation across employers, charities, national and local government departments, academics and individuals. The most significant change to the framework is the introduction of distinct skills statements for life and work, to demonstrate progression. A list of those organisations who have led the consultation can be found below.

The framework also includes a section on ‘foundation’ skills, which are typically required by those not currently using digital technology or using it in limited ways. It is assumed that people gaining these foundation skills will also have the motivation and confidence to engage with digital technology.

There are five categories of Essential Digital Skills for life and work:

• Communicating

• Handling information and content

• Transacting

• Problem Solving

• Being safe and legal online

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