To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to tackle digital exclusion in Wallasey constituency.
9 October 2018
We are committed to tackling digital exclusion and the UK Digital Strategy, published in March 2017, describes the steps we are taking across government, including:
- Establishing the Digital Skills Partnership which brings together stakeholders from the private, public and charity sectors to join efforts to help people increase their digital skills at all levels. It will also build upon the 4 million pledges of free digital skills training opportunities that our corporate partners pledged as part of the Digital Strategy of which more than 2 million have already been delivered.
- Introducing fully-funded basic digital skills training for adults lacking these vital skills from 2020. Adults will have the opportunity to take improved basic digital courses based on new national standards setting out the basic digital skills needed to participate effectively in the labour market and day–to-day life. We will consult on these new standards in the autumn.
- Using the 3000 libraries across England to provide a trusted network of accessible locations with trained staff and volunteers, free Wi-Fi, computers, and other technology as well as Assisted Digital access to a wide range of digital public services where individuals are unable for whatever reason to access these services independently.
These initiatives will build on the significant investment Government already makes in basic digital skills training through the Adult Education Budget which provides funding to colleges and adult and community learning providers to support provision of training for adults. Depending on an adult’s circumstances, the training may be provided free of charge or at reduced rates. The budget for which will be devolved to the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority (LCRCA) for Academic Year 2019/20. This will allow the LCRCA to ensure that decisions on adult skills provision are made in the best interest of the residents of Liverpool City Region.
Government also funds the Future Digital Inclusion programme managed by the Good Things Foundation and delivered through the Online Centres network. To date this programme has supported over 800,000 adult learners to develop their basic digital skills, many of whom are socially excluded.