Digital life

Digital understanding is the ability of somebody to find, use, consume, create and evaluate information and communication across digital platforms.

Those with lower levels of digital understanding and digital inclusion are often the most disadvantaged in society. Increasing levels of digital understanding and removing barriers to digital inclusion can help to shrink the digital divide and reduce inequalities.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) found that 72% of large companies and 49% of SMEs have digital skills shortages. The costs associated with this skills gap in the UK were reported to be £63 billion a year in 2018, with 600,000 job vacancies in digital technology.

With advancing technologies, a lack of upskilling current workers, and slow improvement in educating younger people in digital technology, the cost estimated to the UK economy will be £140 billion of GDP growth per year by 2028.

Bridging this digital divide, particularly in poorer areas, would help reduce unemployment through digital inclusivity interventions. This would result in not only the economic and health gain from employment, but also a reduction of over £6,000 per person per year in unemployment costs.