To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps her Department is taking to tackle digital exclusion in (a) Coventry North East constituency and (b) Coventry.
10 December 2021
The Government’s 10 Tech Priorities include building a tech savvy nation where no-one is left behind by the digital revolution. For this reason, the government is working to ensure that everyone has digital access to further their training and improve employment prospects.
DCMS officials recently held a roundtable with local stakeholders in the West Midlands to share insights on how to support access into the digital sector locally. We recently published a report using the findings from the roundtable, which provides suggestions on how to further help level up the West Midlands digital ecosystem.
Using the reports findings, DCMS will continue to support the West Midlands Local Digital Skills Partnership that is working with partners to help tackle the region's digital inclusion challenges.
In addition, DCMS has supported initiatives such as the Digital Lifeline fund, which provided tablets, data and free digital support to over 5,000 people with learning disabilities who would otherwise find it difficult to get online. So far 394 devices and connectivity have been distributed to local delivery partners and centres in the West Midlands and 31 in the Coventry District. There are 29 Good Things Foundation Online centres across Coventry, providing support to those who are digitally excluded.
Furthermore, in September 2021, the Government body, the Inclusive Economy Partnership (IEP), partnered with industry leaders to launch the Digital Inclusion Impact Group to tackle digital exclusion. One of the pilot programmes is Dell Donate to Educate, which will support children across England with the right access to technology at school and at home.