The way we live increasingly relies on access the internet and the computers/tablets, mobile phones and other equipment that allow us allow to the internet. We are expected to perform online transactions such as paying bills, booking appointments and applying for jobs. However, those people who have the greatest needs and are furthest from employment are not both get online transactions (i.e many of socially excluded groups identified above).
Digital inclusion can be defined as having access to information and communication technologies (ICT) and e-services. However, increasingly there is recognition that digital inclusion is not only having physical access to the internet, but also having the necessary skills, confidence and capabilities to use the internet. BT refers to this as effective access
Why is Digital inclusion so important?
Digital inclusion is an increasingly important issue. As the population of people who are off-line has decreased, there has been a greater focus on providing online services (often a less expensive service model). An example of this is the government's digital by default agenda. A decision that public services should be delivered online or by other digital means was taken following a national research report which. calculated that shifting 30% of government service delivery contracts has the potential to deliver gross annual savings of more than £1.3 billion rising to £2.2 billion if 50% of contacts shifted to digital.
Despite the benefits that the digital by default agenda may bring for many, there are serious consequences for the minority to access the internet. Support organisations have been working hard consider the impact that online benefits application processes will have on those who most vulnerable and lack the digital and literacy skills necessary for online application processes. it has been estimated that roughly 89% of uk public services are now run online, yet just 29 per cent of the uk population is using the the internet to access them. \
go on uk has built a body of evidence to understand the digital skills needed to understand the digital skills needed in todays society and in the uk economy. Having basic digital sills allows people to: shop transact and find best deals online. Communicate with family and friends. Access digital public services.
Digital skills are also increasingly important in economic participation. The uk has more online shoppers than any other country in the world. 67& of uk adults now go online.
Digital skills are increasingly important for use in finding employment. In 2009 around four in five jobseekers in great Britain were making use of the internet in job search, with its use bring especially prevalent among younger jobseekers and the most highly qualified. since 2009 this proportion is likely the have increased.
over time it has become increasingly important for people accessing employment to have digital skills. The number of users of computers with internet access in the workplace in the uk increased by 27% between 2004 and 2008. It is estimated that between75% and 90% of jobs require at least some computer use.
It is challenging and isolating living without the benefits the internet and this reality for one in five uk adults.