The newly published Independent Review of ICT User Skills carried out by Baroness Estelle Morris and commissioned by DIUS has informed the Digital Britain Report. It identifies over 11 million adults in England (2008) as digitally illiterate.
Stephen Carter, author of the Digital Britain review, comments
“Digital life skills are a foundation for participation and employability in a digital society. Soon, everyone in this country will be connected to broadband so it is crucial every person has the basic skills and confidence to make the most of the opportunities broadband will bring.
The Review of ICT User Skills proposes an ‘Entitlement’ to Digital Life Skills for all adults made up of:
• a social marketing campaign, driven through the Government’s Digital Britain strategy, to highlight the benefits of getting online
• a single helpline and website with online learning modules, with links to a range of free resources, provided by broadcasters and other commercial suppliers
• access to a diverse range of entitlement providers to receive support to learn the basic skills they need to get online
It acknowledges the many successful projects and initiatives in this area and the difficult economic backdrop but urges action to avoid an increasing digital divide and resulting social exclusion.