The government has launched its Digital Inclusion Strategy that aims to reduce the number of people who are offline by 25% by 2016. As part of this strategy, it has also launched a new Digital Inclusion Charter.
The charter brings together 40 organisations from all sectors who are committed to reducing the number of people who are offline by 25% by 2016, and a further 25% every 2 years after that.
BBC research has found that 21% of people lack the basic digital skills they need to benefit from the internet. Lloyds Bank revealed, in its UK Business Digital Index, that half of SMEs and voluntary and community social enterprise organisations (VCSEs) do not have a website.
For this reason, the government is launching a strategy which aims to get 2.7 million more people online in the next 2 years.
Minister for Civil Society Nick Hurd said: “As Sir Tim Berners-Lee reminded us in the London Olympics Opening Ceremony, the internet is for everyone. We do not want people to feel excluded, our mission is to make Britain the most digitally capable country in the world. A more digitally-skilled nation will help us to boost our economy and strengthen communities.
This new partnership is about making it easier for people to build their digital skills and confidence, with the aim of reducing the number of people offline, so that by 2020 everyone who can be online, will be.”
The strategy includes a national support programme that will bring together funding for digital skills projects. This will open the market for new providers to get involved.
The government and its partners will also urge businesses to expand their role in tackling digital exclusion. For example:
- Asda will launch a national programme of free face-to-face advice sessions on going online in 60 stores with The Tinder Foundation
- EE will launch a National Techy Tea Party Day in all its UK stores, contact centres and offices on 9 September, providing support for those seeking help with their digital skills
Digital by Default News have asked Matthew Adam, the managing director of Silver Training, to give us his thoughts on the charter. Watch this space for his interview.