The questions addressed in this programme relate to the future of adults’ working lives that are affected by technological change and new work formats. We take as our central problem how Scotland’s digital knowledge and skills can be strengthened to respond to challenges that derive from its geography and from the threat of digital exclusion. Our premise is that overcoming these problems is pivotal to Scotland’s position in the world. The programme mobilises knowledge to address these concerns for academic disciplines, business, policy-makers and the public. It concentrates on three themes: learning and sustaining knowledge for work in digital society; overcoming exclusions linked to geography; poverty, age, gender and ability as factors in exclusion. The programme focuses on existing knowledge in each theme and aims to develop new theory across them: its originality lies in its multidisciplinary, multi-sector and international approach. It will:
• Show how new learning methods and theories can enable people to work in a distributed environment
• Understand the implications of Scotland’s digital strategy for sustaining jobs in rural and socially excluded areas
• Suggest ways of addressing digital exclusions among workers
Key objectives are to propose approaches to: harness the potential of professional learning; improve working lives; overcome barriers and sustain economic and social development. To this end the programme will:
• Identify ways that learning (including linguistic and cultural) can be promoted to benefit digital working
• Produce insights into how digital technologies are used in the workplace
• Provide recommendations for guidelines to reduce digital exclusions, particularly those associated with poverty, age, gender, rurality and disability.