Being digitally able is an essential life skill and helping our residents to become digitally able is now a priority for the Council and our partners. Nearly 13% of people in Stockport have never been online and 1 in 4 don’t have the 5 core digital skills of managing information online, using social media or email to communicate, online shopping or banking, problem solving and creating content online. (Source: Go On UK 2015)
Increasing online access
There are many reasons why people don’t go online including the cost of access, lack of skills, no motivation and safety concerns. We want to let the residents and businesses of Stockport know that these needn’t be obstacles. Most public buildings such as libraries and community centres have free Wi-Fi and our libraries have free-to-use devices where they can access the internet, with staff who are trained to provide guidance to accessing Council services online.
Digital Inclusion Steering Group
The Council and some of our key partners, including Stockport Homes, Job Centre Plus and Startpoint, who support people to get online, have established a Digital Inclusion Steering Group so we can work together to make a real difference in this area.
Digital Ambassadors & Champions
We have drafted a Digital inclusion Strategy which all partners have signed up to and we’re currently working up an action plan to prioritise work around supporting people to develop their skills; providing access to digital technology; encouraging people to get online by showing them what you can do and how to stay safe and by asking people who are online and happy to share their knowledge to become Digital Ambassadors or Champions.
No-one gets left behind
We do recognise that not everyone will be able to take advantage of digital technology themselves So part of the work we are doing is about ensuring that these people have the right assistance in place, be that help from a friend, family member or service provider, to do this on their behalf. We want to make sure no-one gets left behind.
We’ve created a new brand “DigiKnow” for the Council and our Digital Inclusion partners to use to promote the help and support that’s available for our less digitally able residents. There’s also a new Get Online area of our website dedicated to helping people find the support they need to get online.