“REDUCING DIGITAL EXCLUSION,
is about making sure that people have the capability to use the internet to do things that benefit them day to day”
CONTEXT OF THE SUPPORTING ACTIVITIES
Significant inequalities in internet access and broadband internet connection in the EU27 and the UK have huge impact on digital literacy in society. A 2008 report by Oxford Internet Institute observed the phenomenon of ‘dual exclusion’ – the ways in which structural inequalities like social class combined with ICT-based inequalities reinforce the process of deprivation, such as; low income, unemployment, poor education, ill health and social isolation.
A study on digital participation and social exclusion in Scotland highlighted a significant correlation between digital exclusion and a wide range of factors associated with social exclusion, including low levels of social participation; poverty and mental health issues (White, 2016).
BARRIERS TO DIGITAL INCLUSION
POLICY CONTEXT IN THE EU
Digital Agenda for Europe
‘Digital Agenda for Europe’ (DAE) – one of the strands of the Europe 2020 growth strategy. DAE set three targets connected to broadband: to bring ‘basic broadband’ to all Europeans by 2013; access to ‘fast broadband’ speeds for all Europeans by 2020; to bring ‘ultra-fast broadband’ speed connections for at least 50% of European households by 2020.
Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs
The Commission adopted a digital single market strategy; a key objective of to undertake a review of the progress made towards completing the digital single market. To support the objectives of ensuring that ‘usage’ and ‘quality of use’ are also addressed, as well as access, the Commission also introduced a number of initiatives to improve ICT skills in the workforce and, to increase the supply of ICT specialists, including a Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs.
Skills Agenda for Europe Agreement
The Commission adopted a new Skills Agenda for Europe Agreement number: which seeks to promote a number of actions to ensure that the right training, the right skills and the right support is available to people in the EU so that they are equipped with skills that are needed in a modern working environment, including the promotion of digital skills.
EU 2020 Priorities
i.e.: smart growth – developing an economy based on knowledge and innovation, and inclusive growth – fostering a high-employment economy delivering economic, social and territorial cohesion
Agenda for New Skills and Jobs
‘Agenda for New Skills and Jobs’, with its focus on ‘flexicurity’, intra-EU labour mobility and a better match between labour supply and demand, with its emphasis on providing innovative education, training, and employment opportunities for deprived communities
Shaping Digital Europe’s Future
‘Shaping Digital Europe’s Future’, the Commission focuses on three key objectives to ensure that digital solutions help Europe to pursue its own way towards a digital transformation that works for the benefit of people through respecting the European values: technology that works for people; fair and competitive economy and an open, democratic and sustainable democracy.