Why is Digital Inclusion important?

The benefits of developing digital skills cannot be underestimated, The Government published their Digital Inclusion Strategy in April 2014 stating:

 

To make sure the web is truly for everyone, we need to provide more than just access. We need to equip the whole country with the skills, motivation and trust to go online, be digitally capable and to make the most of the internet.

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.

 

We know the great advantages that being digitally connected in 2018 can offer – accessing  employment and training opportunities, managing money, cheaper goods and products, accessing public services and even improving mental health. However, many of the people YSS works with are not able to access the internet or do not have the skills to use the internet.  This means that digital technology is exacerbating long-standing inequalities in our society. Although online centres exist in places like libraries, many of the people we work with feel that these places are not for 'people like them' and  feel unwanted, watched or uncomfortable.

YSS is looking to bridge this gap. We check how digitally enabled the people we work with are, and look at access, skills and motivation.

YSS staff and volunteers act as digital champions, offering one to one sessions and supporting access to online centres. Many people we work with are digitally hungry and are empowered when given the opportunity to engage with new technologies.