Santander launches free online introductory digital skills course across the UK

A new study from Santander has found that the average British worker thinks it’s too late to change careers at the age of 45 because they can’t keep up with technology.

A study of 2,000 adults found that one in five adults (21%) would like to retrain and start a new career, but are worried about being “too old”, while nearly one in five workers ( 17%) do not believe they have the necessary digital skills to take this step.

Fear of change and lack of confidence are top barriers to career change for 30% of adults, but almost a quarter (22%) worry about having the ability to learn a new job or don’t know just not where to start.

One in seven (14%) even believe they lost a job due to their lack of digital skills, while 12% believe they were offered a lower salary for the same reason. Almost one in five (19%) have given up on applying for a job due to their lack of digital skills and a quarter (25%) would be reluctant to start their own business.

As part of expanding its support for lifelong learning and those facing the challenges posed by the pandemic, Santander UK, through the Universities of Santander, is launching a course in Free online digital skills training course with 50,000 places available across the UK. In partnership with the Institute of Coding and TechUP, the Your Digital Pathway course was developed to support people who want to take the first step on the path to developing their digital skills. With three learning paths available, the introductory course can help people to: resume or begin studies; return to work or redirect their career; or start an online business.

Matt Hutnell, Principal of Santander Universities UK, said: “There is a misperception that you reach a point in your career where you left it too late to learn new skills, especially in technology. Retraining or upgrading skills can be daunting, especially if you’re not so confident in new technology, which can become a huge hurdle when it comes to changing careers or trying to get back on track. work. This has only been exacerbated by the pandemic as various roles have become increasingly digital with the shift to remote working, but learning a few new skills or simply becoming more confident in the ones you already know can really open up your career options, whether you want to improve your skills in your current career, start a new one or get back to work after a while.

“Our free digital skills course, as part of our lifelong learning campaign, is designed to give people the introduction they will need to start improving their digital skills. So many people have been affected by the pandemic, whether they are now unemployed or in struggling careers. We want to help give people the skills they need to kickstart their professional lives.

The research also found that although the pandemic has seen many people shift to working from home and becoming more self-sufficient with online systems, many believe they would still struggle with some “basic” digital tasks. When asked how confident they were performing 24 different tasks(2), such as creating formulas in a spreadsheet or backing up files to the cloud, 82% had at least one task they couldn’t. didn’t feel completely comfortable doing.

More than a quarter (27%) would struggle to create a presentation and despite the increase in video calling during the pandemic, 22% aren’t entirely confident hosting a virtual meeting or sharing their screen during a call.

For job seekers looking for something new, 16% are also worried about having trouble uploading their resumes online, while 15% are unsure if they can apply for jobs via the internet. A quarter (25%) fear they won’t be able to use LinkedIn – a key platform for finding and applying for new roles.

However, it also emerged that two-fifths (40%) plan to take on a new challenge at work in the next year. For 17%, the change is motivated by their current field struggling with the effects of the pandemic, but 21% believe that the pandemic has given them the opportunity to reassess their career. Others feel more ambitious (14%) or motivated to start something new (10%) while almost one in five (18%) used the time to learn new skills to open up more roles.

Professor Rachid Hourizi, Director of the Institute of Coding, said: “Clearly one of the many impacts of the pandemic has been an increase in people re-evaluating their jobs, career paths and next steps. . We’re excited to be working with Santander and TechUP to create and launch Your Digital Pathway – a course that will help people gain the introductory digital skills and resources they’ll need to feel confident taking the next step. , whether in work, education or business. Working with our consortium of leading UK universities and employers, we create digital skills courses like this that help a wider, more diverse group of people achieve their goals through learning throughout life.

Professor Sue Black, Professor of Computing at Durham University and Head of TechUP, said: “Education and technology have transformed my life, enabling a successful career and being the vehicle that lifted my family out of the poverty. Digital skills and understanding the opportunities available to all of us online are now fundamental to our career success. In this program, we have specifically chosen topics, from the basics to some advanced areas, that will help learners understand the opportunities available to support their path to technology success.Whether you want to go back to school or work, or start your own business, we’ve created a step-by-step course to help you get there. is the future, make sure you are part of it”.

Santander Lifelong Learning Program – Your Digital Journey
Your Digital Pathway is a new free digital skills course that Santander Universities UK has launched in collaboration with the Institute of Coding and the award-winning TechUP initiative based at Durham University. The introductory course has been developed to help people who want to take the first step on the path to developing their digital skills and is designed to get people started in education, work or business.

Participants who complete the course will receive a certificate of achievement and will also be entered into a lottery to win one of 88 personal/professional development scholarships worth up to £2,500. These grants can be used on the personalized Santander Aspire online store to purchase a variety of resources, including laptops, tablets and Chromebooks.