30th March 2017
More than 1.1 million UK adults have gained Basic Digital Skills since 2015, according to new research Doteveryone has conducted in partnership with Lloyds Bank and the Tech Partnership. You can read the full report here.
The skills report, part of the Lloyds Bank Consumer Digital Index 2017, shows that things are moving in the right direction. However, there is still work to be done: 21% of the population still lacks these key skills, which include using search engines, shopping online, and keeping in touch on social media
For those still lacking these skills, the dominant demographics remain unchanged: those on lower incomes, over the age of 65 and residents of social housing are disproportionately represented. However, one worrying change in demographics from last year is an increase in the gap between the skills levels of men and women. For men the levels with Basic Digital Skills rose from 80% to 84%, whilst women remained pretty much static – going from 74% to 75% over the same period.
The changes to the levels of Basic Digital Skills also varies significantly across the different regions of the UK. Northern Ireland and the West Midlands represent real success stories in this respect, both showing a 13% increase in skills levels compared to the 2% national change. At the other end of the spectrum, Scotland and London show 3% decreases in Basic Digital Skills.
It’s difficult to draw concrete conclusions as to why these changes are so dramatically different across regions. However, from the work we’ve done over the past year in the London boroughs of Croydon and Lewisham, it’s clear that this is an issue best tackled at a local level, peer-to-peer, with activity that prioritises hard to reach demographics.
Research from the Ipsos MORI Tech Tracker, which was conducted alongside the Basic Digital Skills survey, provides supporting evidence for this approach. According to their findings, 45% of people say that they turn to friends and family to learn how to use the internet.
The importance of this work comes into sharp relief when we examine some of the additional findings from the Lloyds Bank Consumer Index 2017. The survey results show that over half of those that are currently offline aren't interested in getting online. Not only this, but 68% of the offline population said that nothing could motivate them to get online. It’s clear we have to figure out new ways to reach and inspire people. To communicate the opportunities that the internet can offer.
Doteveryone would like to thank Lloyds Banking Group for their longstanding support as a principal partner and their outstanding work in producing this report. To continue to have an impact, and to help improve lives by delivering Basic Digital Skills, it's vital to have accurate knowledge – not just about the scale of this issue, but also about who's most affected, the regions where they live, and the reasons why they're still offline. This is why the Basic Digital Skills survey continues to be so valuable to the skills and inclusion agenda overall.
The release of this report marks the handover of our Basic Digital Skills work to the Tech Partnership. We're proud of the both the impact that this report shows at a national level, and of the way we’ve been able to help change lives in communities across the country.
Doteveryone's principal partners are: