Next Steps for Digital Inclusion

23 February 2012

Recent figures from the Office of National Statistics show that the number of adults in the UK who have never accessed the Internet has dropped by 224,000 since the last quarter. However, despite numerous campaigns, projects and initiatives, there are still 8.2 million people in the UK who have never been online, with approximately half of them being disabled adults. The 2011 Oxford Internet Survey also reported that only 31% of adults with no qualifications use the Internet, while 30% of adults who have gone online rate their Internet skills as poor.

Susan Easton, NIACE Senior Project Officer, said:

“Although the reported drop in the number of adults who have never accessed the Internet is encouraging, a mounting body of evidence shows that those who do not have the skills to go online will become increasingly disadvantaged in the UK’s digital society. A recent report from research agency ICM, found that 72% of employers wouldn’t interview an entry level candidate who didn’t have computer and Internet skills, while the Digital by default agenda is being pursued vigorously by government, charities and businesses. At the same time, a growing number of learning providers are delivering their learning opportunities online.”

“NIACE’s seminar brought together representatives from Race Online, European and UK projects, JISC Advance, UK online centres, research institutions, NIACE members and delegates, to explore how we can ensure that all adults have the opportunity to access the internet and develop their digital capabilities.”