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Digital Inclusion: Closing the skills gap

Leeanna Pitt
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The rate at which the UK’s digital industry is developing is unprecedented.

Despite this, the government’s digital inclusion dashboard currently indicates that over 10% of adults have never used the internet. It is clear that as innovative leaders and digitally savvy workforces ride the socio-economic wave, some of our population are being left behind.

So what does this mean and what can be done to drive greater digital inclusion?

In our view, digital inclusion is ensuring that as many people as possible can gain the maximum amount of benefit from technology. It encompasses access and the appropriate skills to use the internet and technology.

According to a 2015 Tinder Foundation report, 23% of adults lack the five basic digital skills: managing information, communicating, transacting, creating and problem solving. Developing a digitally inclusive approach will not only help this 23% on a personal level, but many organisations could also benefit from utilising their workforce’s improved digital skills and also expect an increase in their productivity and capability.

In fact, the entire economy could benefit from the more productive use of the readily available tools and technology we now have at our fingertips.

Agilisys is one of a number of organisations making a conscious effort to close the digital skills gap and promote digital inclusion. Alongside other thought-leaders such as Google, Affinity Sutton and Barclays, we are supporting the UK Digital Inclusion Charter, a government-led initiative that aims to enable everyone in the UK that can be, to be digitally capable.

We also use the DotEveryone Digital Exclusion Heatmap as part of our digital strategy planning. The map highlights the predicted level of digital exclusion in UK regions to enable us to better understand the environments in which we work and citizens that we are trying to help.

The thinking behind this is that education and enterprise initiatives, along with employability skills and health services, will all thrive in a digitally inclusive area. Over the next year we will be doing even more to understand how digital inclusion can be used as a tool to unlock social progression.

There is growing evidence that the UK is addressing digital inclusion, yet in order to fully maximise the potential of digital we must ensure that our skills match the rate of technological development. And much of that begins by advocating and promoting inclusive leadership cultures that ensure our population and workforce feel empowered by the digital world.

Leeanna Pitt, principal digital transformation consultant, Agilisys

Column sponsored and supplied by Agilisys



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