Charity unveils steps for a 100% digitally inclusive UK

The Good Things Foundation report sets out the steps businesses and politicians need to take to ensure that no one is left out of the digital world.

Joe Lepper | 28th Nov 18
Image shows older people using a digital device.

Businesses and government need to make a commitment that no one in the UK will be digitally excluded, according to a charity’s report.

The Good Things Foundation’s report Blueprint for a 100% Digitally Included Nation sets out a number of core digital inclusion principles it wants to see the private sector and politicians sign up to.

This would commit the government and businesses to the ambition of creating a 100% digitally inclusive nation by 2028, a pledge to promote the benefits of the internet and provide free digital training for everyone.

Digital access should be affordable, with no one denied access to digital technology due to their income, the report adds.

In addition, all employers should focus on ensuring their staff have digital skills.

Also digital should become a “social priority” so that debates around social inclusion and digital inclusion are closely linked.

“Digital exclusion in the UK is holding back economic growth and stalling social inclusion. In a world where we increasingly rely on digital in all areas of our lives, current rates of progress are too slow,” said Good Things Foundation Chief Executive Helen Milner.

“Everyone in the UK should have the confidence, skills, support and access to use digital technology to participate in society and benefit from the digital world. And we want to move faster towards realising this aim.

She added: “We are calling on organisations big and small, and from all and any sector to commit to the ambitious partner goal of a 100% digitally included nation by 2028.”

Supporters include Google

The report is part of the Good Things Foundation’s #BridgingtheDigitalDivide campaign, which is already backed by organisations including Lloyds Banking Group, Google, Capita and Leeds City Council.

Maisie Clark Bilotti, Public Policy and Government Affairs Manager at Google, added: “We’re pleased to support the Bridging the Digital Divide campaign, and are taking action to ensure 100% of the UK nation is digitally included.

“We’re doing this through delivering free digital skills training across the country to help 100,000 people in the UK find a job or grow their business by 2020, and we’re pleased to be working with partners including Good Things Foundation to achieve this.”

Research released by the Good Things Foundation in September estimates that at the current rate of investment in digital inclusion, 6.9m people in the UK (12% of the adult population) will remain digitally excluded by 2028.