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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/digital-inclusion-and-skills-policy/digital-skills-and-inclusion-policy
Digital inclusion is about having the access, skills and motivation to confidently go online to access the opportunities of the internet.
• 4.8 million UK adults (9.2%) had never used the internet (a reduction of almost 4 million (8.3%) since 2011) (ONS 2017);
• The number of people with no basic digital skills reduced to just 9% of the UK adult population (Lloyds 2017);
• 1.1 million more people gained basic digital skills compared to 2015 (Lloyds 2017).
We’re working across government and with partners in the private and charity sectors to improve those numbers even further and ensure that everyone who is capable of participating in the digital economy does so. Digital inclusion and skills are a gateway for citizens to achieve a broad range of positive outcomes: gaining employment; saving money; expanding career opportunities; reducing isolation; improving health and wellbeing and much more.
We also work across government, and with the tech sector, to ensure that the digital skills required by the UK economy are available and continuously developed. We are gathering a greater understanding of digital skills capabilities across the UK as well as further developing the skills that are in demand and those currently being supplied by citizens across the UK’s digital economy - ranging from basic skills to advanced and specialist skills. We aim to make policy interventions that address the gap between the two so we can ensure the UK has the relevant, appropriate digital skills it needs to be a successful global economic force.
We work on policy formation for digital skills issues across the whole education and training system, working closely with colleagues in the Department for Education (DfE) on areas such as digital skills in schools, apprenticeships and through professional and technical education, higher education and lifetime learning.
We take an evidence-based approach to policy making. We convene a Research Working Group (RWG) made up of digital inclusion and skills experts from academia and the private and charity sectors. The RWG provides vital insight and challenge, and is responsible for developing products to help benchmark and track digital inclusion and skills (links to several of these are included below).
2. Related resources
Key indicators for digital inclusion in the UK are tracked on this dashboard on the GOV.UK performance platform.
Features news, research, case studies, reports and guest posts about having the right access, skills, motivation and trust to confidently go online.
The Digital Inclusion Evaluation Toolkit is a step-by-step process that will help you to evaluate the impact of your digital inclusion project. It will enable you to prove to others how successful your project has been at creating change. It will also show you where your project could be improved so it has an even greater impact.
The toolkit includes a guide, accompanied by a set of resources that are designed to save time and effort.
Papers produced by the Research Working Group describing the issues considered in developing a shared set of measures and the rationale for those decisions.
A University of Manchester report, commissioned by government, on use of the internet and digital technologies among older people and its relationship to wellbeing.
A research report, commissioned by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, that examines the demand and supply of digital skills in the UK and reviews the risks for the UK if the digital skills needs of the population and businesses are not addressed
The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee began an inquiry into digital skills in early 2016 and presented their final report in June 2016, outlining over 20 recommendations on the issue of digital skills for the government to consider. This was the government’s response, published in January 2017.
3. You may also be interested in
News story on Matthew Gould, the Government’s first Director General for Digital and Media
The Government Digital Service’s blog on Accessibility
4. Contact us