Future Digital Inclusion has allowed us to both directly fund basic online skills delivery in UK online centres across the country, and continue to develop our learning resources for the entire network.
As part of this, we have invested time and resources in the Learn My Way platform so that we develop and create courses and tools to help everyone be able to make the most of computers and the internet.
Future Digital Inclusion has also enabled the creation of a new learner management system – CaptureIT – allowing staff from UK online centres to record the progress of learners who are gaining basic online skills, whether it’s inside or outside of Learn My Way, helping to provide a more robust and flexible way of tracking progression and supporting learners.
In February 2015 we received confirmation that BIS would continue to fund Tinder Foundation to deliver Future Digital Inclusion throughout 2015/16.
After raising seven children Joanne knew she wanted to find a job, but she lacked the skills and confidence to find one – until she started a computer and employment course at Community Support Plus. Thanks to the support and encouragement from her tutor, Joanne’s confidence grew and she learnt how to search for jobs, fill in forms and develop her CV.
Joanne built up her confidence enough to apply for a job as a dinner lady at her children’s school – and she got it!
“I’d recommend Learn My Way and UK online centres like Community Support Plus to anyone. Even if you’ve got no computer skills, even if you’ve never worked. If you’re worried about your computer skills – don’t. If they can help me, they can help you. Help you build your confidence, and help you get a job.”
The pilot, which was completed in August 2014, aimed to both increase the skills and confidence of those businesses involved, and to inform the design of a delivery model that could support businesses in developing their digital skills.
Lloyds Banking Group staff were trained to become Small Business Digital Champions so that they could provide face-to-face training for local small businesses across a variety of sectors, from cafe owners and pet shops, to driving instructors and decorators.
Of businesses reached by the pilot:
We worked with a small number of centres from within the UK online centres network to test how mobile connectivity could improve the lives of people lacking basic digital skills, and who met at least one criterion of social exclusion.
The project not only led to a significant increase in participants’ online skills, but also had a great impact on their personal health and wellbeing, enabling many to better manage their physical and mental health.
A report, Mobile: Helping to close the Digital Divide? was launched at an event at the House of Lords on 17 March 2015.
“We are delighted that the findings from the Mobile Devices Project show the positive impact mobile technology can have on people’s lives; from developing digital skills to improving health and wellbeing. We look forward to continuing our partnership with Tinder Foundation to break down the barriers of digital exclusion and achieve a digitally-skilled nation.”
Justin Hornby, Senior Regulatory Manager, Corporate and External Affairs, Vodafone UK.