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Up to £100 million is needed to teach Scots digital skills

30/07/2015
Language: EN

Scotland's Digital Participation Leadership Group says over 20,000 charities and one in five adults in Scotland lack basic digital skills, a new report has claimed.

An extra £75-100 million needs to be spent to ensure all Scots are taught basic digital skills, a new report has claimed.

In its first annual report, Digital Participation in Action, the Digital Participation Leadership Group (DPLG) says over 20,000 charities and one in five adults in Scotland lack basic digital skills.

Set up by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO), with the support of the Scottish Government and the European Regional Development Fund, the group has spent the past 18 months leading a national effort to promote digital participation and basic digital skills.

It came up with the £75-100m figure based on a report by the Tinder Foundation which said £875m of new investment is needed to equip 100% of the UK adult population with basic digital skills.

So far the DPLG has received over 300 applications from community projects for funding totalling almost £1.5 million.

It has awarded £350,000 to 55 of the projects it thinks have the potential to make the biggest difference on the ground.

Together, they will aim to help up to 10,000 people gain basic digital skills.

The group has also re-launched Scotland’s Digital Participation Charter.

More than 100 organisations have signed up to five commitments including ensuring all staff and volunteers have an opportunity to learn basic digital skills.

Over 60 business growth internships have also been created in the past 18 months.

The internships are designed to provide a quick burst of practical support for charities, by providing funding for them to hire an intern to work on digital projects for between six and 12 weeks.

Interns are paid the living wage, and through a partnership with Scotland IS interns and charities have been linked up to contacts in the Scottish tech sector where appropriate.

“Unlike, for example, the industrial revolution when it took place, the digital revolution is truly global and it is happening now, everywhere,” Brendan Dick, chair of the DPLG said.

“In the 21st century, our small country of five million people has the potential to lead the way in how a modern society embraces the digital revolution, and creates progress socially and economically.

“We will only realise our full potential if all of Scotland’s citizens and organisations understand the potential of digital, and embrace that potential to the full.

“If we can achieve this, Scotland really will make its mark on this digital revolution, just as it did during the industrial revolution.”

Read further information on Third Force News.

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