Why the UK needs older people trained in tech to answer the skills gap

Imbalance causing issues

When one generation lacks the necessary tech skills to participate in progress, many issues present themselves. On one level, you have older people struggling to purchase a parking ticket due to local councils switching to a parking app system. There is an assumption that everyone knows how to download and use an app. This indicates a lack of research and a false belief that everyone has tech abilities and a smartphone.

Age and the growing tech skills gap

Technology progresses quickly, so when one group of people haven’t engaged with it at an early stage, it can feel impossible to catch up. Then it becomes easier to decide “technology isn’t for me” and excuse themselves from embracing it. This mindset isn’t helped by a general societal attitude that technology is only for the young. Somewhere along the line, businesses have also adopted the idea that older people aren’t interested in technology and have not made an investment in this training a priority.

False generational assumptions

Despite the attitude that older people can’t or won’t use tech, the pandemic gave us a great example that this isn’t the case. As it became imperative during the Covid lockdowns to use technology to shop, manage their banking, and stay in touch with colleagues and relatives, many older people quickly picked up these skills.

Resolving the generational gap

A majority of executives identified both digital transformation and hiring and retaining talent as critical growth drivers for 2022. Further, an estimated 85 million jobs will go unfilled globally by 2030 due to skills shortages, resulting in about $8.5 trillion in unrealised annual revenues. With people retiring at later ages, bringing older people up to speed in digital literacy could go a long way towards resolving skills shortages.

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