Technology has, and will continue to, disrupt and transform our lives. Yet despite its ever-growing presence, 23% of UK adults still don’t possess the Basic Digital Skills necessary to take advantage of it according to digital skills charity Go ON UK.
This means one in five people are unable to do simple things like send a Facebook message, apply for a job online, pay bills with an app, or even check what day the bins are collected on their local council website. For some, it means not knowing how to communicate with family and friends online, leading to loneliness, isolation or ill-health.
It is not just individuals that are missing out on the benefits of being online. 23% of small businesses don’t have Basic Digital Skills.
Without Basic Digital Skills, these SMEs are missing out on their share of the UK’s annual website sales of £193 billion. Not only that, but they also risk losing potential business because they can’t be found online, may be missing an opportunity to deliver a better, more efficient service to their customers, and may not be maximising their competitiveness.
In the charity sector the challenge is even greater. Over half of all UK charities are lacking Basic Digital Skills.
Almost three in five charities are unable to spread their message to a wider audience, raise money online, or take advantage of free marketing tools such as social media to promote their cause because they lack the skills necessary to maximise the potential of the internet.
If the UK is to become the competitive, successful global economy and society that we need to be, then we urgently need to work together to give these people and organisations the skills they need to participate fully in the digital world.
Go ON UK is committed to increasing digital literacy and reducing exclusion across the UK.
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