Lockdown Skill Swap

Plusnet encourages ‘Skills Swap’ as over half of older people want help from youngsters with digital skills


New research from Plusnet and BT Skills for Tomorrow has shown a generational divide in lockdown activities.

More than half (60%) of people over 50 have asked for help from younger relatives with digital skills during lockdown. Before lockdown, over 50s enjoyed gardening (49%), baking (18%) and DIY (19%) but since the start of lockdown activities such as online shopping, baking and DIY have seen the largest increases in popularity.

In contrast the research shows that young people, have been taking up more traditional pastimes in lockdown, using time to learn more hands-on physical skills while at home. The most popular activities in lockdown for millennials included baking (30%), gardening (17%) and decorating (19%).

With 31% of over 50s saying they would like to share their skills with the younger generation, Plusnet has teamed up with BT Skills for Tomorrow and social inclusion charity Good Things Foundation to encourage people to take part in a Skills Swap helping older relatives to improve their digital skills and use the internet for essentials like online banking, job hunting or just keeping in touch, in exchange for being taught real-world traditional skills by the older generation.

The Digital Champion course from Good Things Foundation aims to create a more digitally-included society with guidance on how to support people in your local community to get online and improve their digital skills.

Plusnet are also encouraging people to access the resources available through BT Skills for Tomorrow which offers a wide range of free advice, information and support for all ages and abilities to help 10 million people make the most of life in the digital world.

On the initiative, Sam Calvert from Plusnet explains, “At Plusnet, we’re committed to helping people get the most value out of the internet – so we wanted to try and identify the ways older and younger people were able to stay connected during lockdown.

“With the results revealing some interesting generational differences, our Skills Swap initiative aims to help people young and old to learn, share and create – using the internet to discover new skills together and stay connected in the process.”

Adam Micklethwaite, Director of Digital Social Inclusion at Good Things Foundation said: “Sharing skills is an important part of the community action we’re advocating for in our new Blueprint for a 100% Digitally Included Nation, so we’re pleased that Plusnet is raising awareness of the importance of helping others. We also know that loneliness and social isolation have been some of the damaging effects of the pandemic, and skill sharing can help here too.”

For more information on the Skills Swap visit plus.net/skillswap and to find out more about Good Things Foundation visit https://www.goodthingsfoundation.org/.


For more information please contact: Plusnet Press office – plusnet@karmarama.com


Research was conducted by OnePoll in September 2020, on 1,000 18- 30 year olds and 1,000 over 50 year olds across the UK.

About Plusnet:

Plusnet was born in Sheffield in 1997 with a simple plan – to think and act differently from other communications providers and save consumers and businesses money. That’s not changed since the day they launched; over 20 years later they’re still providing great value phone, broadband and mobile services nationwide, from their HQ in Yorkshire.

Plusnet pride themselves on offering the best customer service out there; and with a stack of awards to prove it, it seems their customers and industry professionals agree. They were recently awarded ‘Best Broadband Provider’, Best Broadband Provider, Best Customer Care, Most Reliable Broadband Provider, Most Trustworthy Provider and Most Recommended Provider’ at the 2018 Broadband Genie Awards and ‘Best Provider of Customer Service’ and ‘Best SIM Only Network’ at the uSwitch Broadband Awards 2019.

About Good Things Foundation:

Good Things Foundation is a social change charity, helping people to improve their lives through digital. Through thousands of partners in communities across the UK, Good Things Foundation helps people gain the support and skills they need to change their lives, and believes that everyone in the UK should have the confidence, skills, support and access to use digital technology, participate in society and benefit from the digital world.

For more information on Good Things Foundation visit www.goodthingsfoundation.org