Overcoming the skills Digital Divide

There are now many skilled workers, computer literate but displaced/retired from their original career path who have the will & need to "still do something of value". 

If we want to embrace the 880,000 digitally excluded, they are more likely to build confidence from someone who can maturely communicate/coach with them (most people buy from people they like/affiliate with) – so the Apostles of the Digital Age might foster more converts if they have a few grey hairs?

Why the contribution is important

Many of Scotland's retirees are looking to meet new people, develop their own skills and contribute to their community. If we harness this energy to help their digitally disadvantaged peers - in local library sessions for example - then their community environment will benefit and the capability for the Scottish Government to deliver more services digitally increases.

by pjwhaynes on November 20, 2016 at 12:51PM

Current Rating

Average score : 4.7
Based on : 4 votes


  • Posted by SLIC November 22, 2016 at 14:48

    This is a really good point and many library services are already benefiting from the input of volunteers from a range of backgrounds - including retired people - to support the development of digital skills across communities. The national strategy for public libraries, 'Ambition and Opportunity: A Strategy for Public Libraries in Scotland 2015-2020', outlines a clear role for libraries in supporting digitally excluded citizens, and recognises the valuable contribution of volunteers in amplifying the services libraries can deliver. Over the course of the strategy, the Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC) will work with public libraries across Scotland to develop a strategic approach to working with volunteers. As part of this, we’d be interested to work in partnership with any other organisations or groups working in this area.
  • Posted by KBG December 15, 2016 at 11:20

    Although this is already happening, there needs to be a 'pull' from the community too and the nature of the engagement is different now from 10-15 years ago when much of the help was fairly basic - 'courses on 'Computers for the Terrified'.
    Perhaps a more business-orientated interaction would be useful.
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