Tackling inequality through digital inclusion should be explicit in the Strategy

Digital participation is an overaching concept, covering skills, connectivity and inclusion.

We would suggest that the strategy clearly states an ambition to tackle inequality by ensuring everyone can benefit from the internet. This can be achieved by providing support to build the motivation and confidence of people to go online and equipping everyone with a foundation of basic digital skills to ensure they benefit fully from the opportunities provided by the internet.

Why the contribution is important

Basic digital skills are the starting point on a pathway and identify the foundations that everyone needs to be able to use the internet effectively. Building these skills across Scotland’s communities has the potential to make a significant contributing in tackling exclusion and inequality.

Recent research by the Carnegie UK Trust provides evidence on why this is important, noting that many of the groups who are currently digitally excluded could benefit disproportionality from the benefits of being online. The research recognises that while the internet and digital technology is a great enabling and empowering force, if individuals do not have the relevant access, confidence or skills, it has the potential to further exacerbate existing, deep-rooted inequalities.

The recently published Scottish Government Fairer Scotland Action Plan also highlights the contribution digital participation can make in tackling the ‘poverty premium’. 

A priority action within the Plan is to ensure “that low-income consumers have access to the goods and services that enable them to avoid the poverty premium, such as affordable internet access and the digital skills and confidence to transact online to facilitate switching.”

Recognising the speed of change of technology, we would expect the concept of basic digital skills to evolve over time.

by SCVO_Digital on November 04, 2016 at 04:06PM

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Based on : 4 votes

Comments

  • Posted by joecar November 10, 2016 at 12:23

    In schools and Colleges every learner now needs access to a browser as a minimum. Some good wifi enabled tablets can be bought for less that £50 . Ideally they have access to something with a keyboard to make creation easier a netbook or chromebook - It's no longer just about skills people need access to the network and a device of their own.

    Institutions could take the savings they would make in photocopying and move in this direction . Islay High School did this 10 years ago with benefits for learners and for community .

    Digital skills don't get you on-line - free wifi and access to devices would
  • Posted by ScotGovDigitalFraser November 25, 2016 at 12:41

    A real important piece, thanks.

    we are committed to ensuring that all of Scotland is able to enjoy the social, cultural and economic benefits of the internet. To realise this commitment we must make sure digital technology is not allowed to reinforce social and economic inequalities.
  • Posted by KBG December 15, 2016 at 12:25

    This is a recurring theme, overlapping with the others on equal opportunity, and what is needed to support the aims behind the various similar suggestions.
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