CONCERNS OVER OLDER PEOPLE’S ICT SKILLS

The lack of older people taking part in education and training could leave Nigeria with a digital skills gap as the population ages, less than a third of 55- to 64-year-olds are involved in any learning, many people in this age group do not have any digital skills.

It is argued that as people have to work longer, many will lack the skills required to stay in employment, which reveals a large sections of society, including those from lower socio-economic groups, are less likely to take part in any form of ICT learning. The way participation in learning declines as people get older is worrisome, this comes against the backdrop of an ageing society and an expectation that people are going to have to work longer.

This ICT skills gaps and shortages are threatening the long-term future already. We need to be worried about the digital area of learning, if one looks at the number of people who never got any digital skills, it’s dominated by older people. When we start thinking about the technological changes in the workplace and about the people in that age group not being able to even access government services online, it becomes more worrisome.

Nigeria’s current economic challenges combined with an ageing population mean people will have extended working lives, learning throughout, which has never been more important. ICT becomes key to even the old people in the country.

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