The UK government has launched a Digital Inclusion Strategy to reduce the number of people who are offline by 25% by 2016.
The strategy hopes to put 2.7m more people online and includes a national programme to support people gaining basic digital skills. Working together with 40 organisations from all sectors, the government hopes this latest strategy will improve working partnerships.
The UK Digital Inclusion Charter says:
“There is a lot of great work going on across the public, private and voluntary sectors to help people and organisations go online, but digital exclusion remains a big issue. Maintaining momentum is not enough.
“We need to bring together and scale up our efforts, more than ever before. No single organisation can tackle this alone and only strong partnership across all sectors will succeed.”
The strategy states that digital inclusion is defined in terms of digital skills (being able to use computers and the internet), connectivity (access to the internet) and accessibility (service design that meets all users’ needs).
Digital inclusion will have major benefits
The strategy commits the government to making digital inclusion part of wider government policy, establishing a quality cross-government digital capability programme, giving all civil servants the digital capabilities to use and improve government services, improving and extending partnerships and delivering a digital inclusion programme to support SMEs.
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.”
Join Whitehall Media’s 5th Central Government Business and Technology conference to be held on 25 September 2014 where we discuss digital transformation of government services and up-skilling the civil service to better adjust to the growing needs of the information economy. To register your place and find out more about who will be speaking, please visit: www.whitehallmedia.co.uk/cgbt