Digital Inclusion

Great day at ‘Facing the Future Together’ event in Manchester organised by Good Things Foundation. Met lovely people; gathered great information.

Discussion around challenges around sustainability in delivering digital skills to those that are digitally excluded. So much passion in the room from those working at the ground level with hard to reach people with tight budgets that are shrinking like a violet.

It was also apparent that too often the work was carried out by volunteers who despite being passionate, lacked the necessary skills themselves to deliver and most importantly help in retention of the learners.

Statistics produced by Good Things Foundation show that 71% of learners felt increased confidence after accessing digital training. 62% are happier as a result of having had more social contact. The figures speak for themselves in terms of the positive impacts of digital inclusion but is it enough to persuade those that hold the purse strings.

The question remains, how do we keep these individuals engaged and do we have enough goodwill in the community to keep these initiatives going.

I remain sceptical as to the future of adult education and level of progression that we will see. We finally see investment at the most basic level but there still remains a wide gap between initial engagement to entry level qualification stage.