Digital Skills

Colchester Institute is now offering the Essential Digital Skills Qualification. These skills are essential in many job roles as more digital technology is used to carry out tasks.

Did you know:

  • Nearly 9 million people in the UK are unable to use the internet on their tablet or phone by themselves.
  • Almost 3 million people can access the internet but do not know how to use it to its full advantage.
  • Just over 17 million people – nearly 52% of workers in the UK lack the digital skills they need to do their job.*

*Statistics provided by Lloyds Bank

If you have recently lost your job or found yourself in a much-changed environment, and even if you are not working in what might be considered a technology-based sector, having a basic level of digital fluency is a must.

The shifting of everyday life online during the COVID-19 pandemic has brought into focus the implications of being digitally excluded, particularly from social media. Research has shown in the UK that one in five people lack the essential digital skills for life and struggle to communicate using digital technology.

These courses are offered at Entry Level 3 and Level 1 and are fully funded for students aged 16-19 and adults aged 19+ who are employed or seeking work but have low or no digital skills.

The course will be offered at two levels, in two streams: Life and Work.

  • Entry Level 3 – designed for people with no or little prior experience of using digital devise or the internet.
  • Level 1 – perfect for adults with some experience of using digital devices and the internet but lack secure basic digital skills.

The Entry Level 3 courses are for newer computer users and Level 1 for those that would like to develop their skills. The Life stream covers things such as using Microsoft Teams and Zoom for video conferencing, as well social media.

The Work stream will prepare you for working in an increasingly digital world, providing the support you need to build your confidence when working with computers and applications for word processing, spreadsheets and presentations.

These new courses are part of a government initiative to ensure no one is left behind from the rapid changes to technology. If you would like to learn new skills or sharpen those you already have, please make a booking enquiry today!

Entry Level

Struggling to get on because you lack digital skills?

Designed for adults with no or little prior experience of using digital devices or the internet, this qualification is what you need to learn how to use your smartphone or tablet more effectively.

The government will provide entitlement funding for learners in England aged 16 -19 and for adults, aged 19+ (employed or unemployed) with no or low digital skills who take the Ofqual approved Essential Digital Skills qualifications.

Suitable for anyone with no or very low digital skills, this is an online course that covers all five skills areas set out in the national standards:

  • Using devices and handling information.
  • Creating and editing.
  • Communicating.
  • Transactions.
  • Being safe and responsible online.

Learning and assessment will take place online, and our Learning Shop staff are able to provide additional support where necessary.


Level 1

52% of people in the workforce do not have the digital skills required to carry out their jobs.

Designed for adults with some experience of using digital devices and the internet but lacking secure basic digital skills, this qualification can help you ensure you are not left behind as the role of technology increases.

Suitable for anyone, working or unemployed, who needs to increase their confidence when using digital technology, this qualification covers all five skills areas set out in the national standards:

  • Using devices and handling information
  • Creating and editing
  • Communicating
  • Transactions
  • Being safe and responsible online

Learning and assessment are both online and the course can be undertaken remotely.


How will I learn?

How you learn can be up to you. Whether you prefer to be in a classroom at Colchester Institute’s main campus, or online with support from our teams in the Learning Shops. This course can help you gain the skills you need to get on in an increasingly digital world.

How is the course assessed?

The BCS online version of the course will be assessed through two online, on-screen invigilated tests.

  • One test will focus on knowledge (with a range of question types including multiple choice, hotspot, drag and drop, object ordering and matching). The second test will focus on skills (with question types including hotspots, advanced hotspots and the BCS In-application assessment engine).
  • The knowledge tests comprise of 1, 2- and 3-mark questions worth a total score of 50 marks. The skills tests are made up of four scenarios worth a total score of 50 marks.
  • A learner’s overall achievement is calculated by aggregating the scores from both tests.
  • The tests will take 45 minutes each and will be supported by teaching of 45 guided learning hours within a total qualification time of 64 hours.
  • The support for teaching the content of the EDSQ framework will be through a dedicated online website and it will be open to learners, teachers, and approved centre managers.
Book a Careers Advice Appointment

The National Careers Service provides access to free, impartial, professional advice on careers, skills and the job market.

We’re here to help you get the advice you need to make the right decisions about your future working life. We’ve got specially designed tools to help you move on in your career, or get you on the job ladder. Let us help you take the next step.

Whatever your situation, we’re here to help you overcome problems and reach your goals. We’ll help you build on your strengths, improve your skills and find a better job or career that matches your skills and personality.

Once you have booked a careers advice appointment our advisors will work with you to begin your training.

For your free National Careers Service and Advice Guidance session at a centre near you please contact us using the contact telephone numbers or by completing the enquiry form below:

  • Clacton and Dovercourt areas: 01206 712825
  • Colchester, Witham and Braintree areas: 01206 814292
Digital Skills
Course Outline: This course is designed for learners who wish to better their employment opportunities.
DurationFlexible programme available to learners aged 18 or over
CampusColchester Campus
The Learning Shop - Colchester
The Learning Shop - Braintree
The Learning Shop - Clacton.
The Learning Shop - Dovercourt
The Learning Shop - Witham
Start DateLearners can enrol on these courses throughout the year
AttendanceFlexible attendance throughout the year
PriceThe EDSQ Digital Skills qualifications are free for adult learners aged 19+


All Fees and prices shown on this page are for courses starting in the 2021-22 academic year unless stated otherwise, and are correct at the time of entering/printing information, however these may be subject to change. The College cannot accept legal or financial liability as a result of any such changes.

The course information describes programmes offered by Colchester Institute. The College takes all reasonable steps to provide courses as described, but cannot guarantee provision. The information is for guidance and does not form any part of a contract.

The College reserves the right to update and amend information as and when necessary. Colchester Institute will do its best to provide the courses shown, but may have to modify or withdraw a course depending on customer demand and other factors.