Thomas Bridge 25 February 2014

Some £875m required to create digitally skilled nation, report says

Investment of £875m is required to ensure all the UK adult population has basic online skills by 2020, a report has claimed.

Annual investment of £146m should be spread across the public, private and voluntary sectors to ensure the nation is trained to use IT effectively - according to a study commissioned by Tinder Foundation and Go ON UK.

‘The fact is that digital exclusion costs Britain money. Not having the access, motivation or skills to use the Internet has a real social and human impact, affecting pay, health, educational attainment and more. In turn, that has an economic impact, and it’s holding Britain back,’ chair of the Tinder Foundation, Lord Jim Knight of Weymouth, said.

Some 11m people currently don’t know how to send and receive email, use a search engine, browse the Internet and complete online forms.

Without increased investment, some 6.2m people could be without basic online skills at the end of the decade - A leading digital nation claims.

It is estimated that digital by default public services could generate yearly savings of £1.7bn.

‘The cost of digital inclusion - based on this new model - is a drop in the ocean compared to the potential savings and benefits of investment,’ Knight added ‘So let’s be bold; let’s work together; and let’s get it done by 2020.’

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