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Only 43% of over-65s have basic digital skills

Published on 19 October 2015 12:01 AM

Almost a quarter of people in the UK do not have the basic digital skills needed to succeed in our evolving digital age.

Go ON UK, the digital skills charity chaired by Martha Lane Fox, has released a Basic Digital Skills report showing that 23% of people do not have a basic digital skills level.

The report, produced in association with Lloyds Banking Group, finds basic digital skills levels start to decline among people aged over 45, with those 65 years old or over having a basic digital skills level of just 43%.

UK's first digital exclusion heatmap

Using data from the digital skills report, Go ON UK today launched its digital exclusion heatmap, which displays for the first time a measure of digital exclusion at a local level.

The digital exclusion heatmap was developed in conjunction with the BBC, the Local Government Association and the London School of Economics and Political Science to ensure everyone in the UK has the basic digital skills they need.

It gives policy makers and those working in the digital skills and inclusion section insight to help drive engagement, action and funding where it is most needed.

Areas with the highest levels of basic digital skills are found in Greater London (84%), Scotland and East Anglia (both 81%).

In Wales, where internet access is at its lowest, we find the lowest levels, with only 62% of adults having the basic skills they need.

Rachel Neaman, Go ON UK CEO, said: ‘The UK is experiencing a digital skills crisis. 12.6 million adults, 1.2 million small businesses, and over half of all charities lack the basic digital skills needed to succeed in today's digital age.

‘Digital competency is an essential skill for everyone and we believe that - without urgent action - the nation's lack of basic digital skills will continue to hold back economic growth, productivity and social mobility.

‘This is the first time digital exclusion has been measured using the new definition of basic digital skills, introduced in early 2015.

‘Go ON UK has developed its new mapping tool, not only to support those working in the digital skills and inclusion sector, but to provide the data to highlight the scope and local variance of this issue, and make the case for the social and economic importance of universal basic digital skills'.

Go ON UK Local to support organisations

Today, Go ON UK also launched Go ON Local - an online community toolkit and collaborative platform designed to offer organisations, local councils, housing associations and skills training providers online access to resources and to provide a platform for people to connect, share and promote best practice.

Rachel Neaman said: ‘Where the Go ON UK Digital Exclusion Heatmap helps us identify the issues we face at a local level, Go ON Local has been designed to support organisations that run digital skills activities for their communities to address those issues.

‘The new basic digital skills report clearly showcases a shift in digital skills adoption in the North East and North West; regions where Go ON UK has helped support local efforts. We have learnt from our sustained activity in the regions, and understand that working in partnership, whilst sharing knowledge and resources is key to helping us ensure everyone in the UK has the basic digital skills they need.

Go ON Local will provide an online hub for those organisations to plan their programmes, promote and run initiatives, and evaluate and share their successes with the Go ON Local community and wider audiences.'

Visit the Go On UK website to use the Go ON UK digital exclusion heatmap, find out more about Go ON Local or to read the Basic digital skills report.

Last updated: Oct 06 2017

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