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Older adults will soon be able to get training to improve their digital skills, thanks to a $10 million grant AARP Foundation has received from Google.org. The training will focus on the skills older adults need to find jobs, get hired and enhance their careers.
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Over the past two years, as many businesses have shifted to remote work, the ability to use the internet well has become essential for workplace success. Many older adults improved their online skills during this period by, for example, learning how to videoconference with their families or order groceries online.
But overall, there still are significant gaps between how adept people ages 50 and older are at using digital tools compared to younger adults. According to a report the Urban Institute released near the end of last year, the digital skills of older workers lag behind those of workers under age 50 in nearly all occupations. The gaps are particularly large among clerical support workers; business and administrative professionals; and legal, social and cultural professionals. Among older Americans, the skills of people of color tend to lag behind those of white people, women tend to have less-advanced skills than men, and rural residents tend to have less-advanced skills than urban dwellers.