As we move towards naming a new leader of the UK, we’re writing to ask you, should you be successful, to provide much needed leadership on a growing and crucial issue – digital poverty.
In a society that believes in equality, justice and compassion, it’s not right that so many families don’t have access to the tools that they need in order to ensure their family can have the best possible life chances.
Our recently launched landmark UK Digital Poverty Evidence Review set out that digital access is now a basic right.
But millions are not online, despite the fact that education, healthcare, new jobs, new skills, access to social security and even basic household activities such as looking for the best deals in a cost of living crisis, are rapidly moving online. Those who most need to be online – to improve their knowledge, find support or look for work – are those most likely to be offline either due to a lack of device, internet connection, skills or awareness of online services.
42% of young people are not adequately connected, meaning keeping up with their peers is increasingly difficult.
11 million people lack the basic skills they need to engage with online services – skills centres and free courses aren’t reaching those who most need it.
And the gap is growing between people who are online and able to access the services we all use – and those who are offline and falling further behind as technology evolves.
We ask you simply to be the first leader who will step up and work to end the digital divide – and allow people to be ambitious for their futures.
The Digital Poverty Alliance