The UK government has outlined plans to get another 2.5 million citizens online by 2016 in order to boost the economic and social benefits of web access. Current data suggests around seven million UK citizens still do not use the web.
The new Digital Inclusion Strategy (DIS) is being launched with support from 40 organisations from both the private and public sector. Firms such as Google, Microsoft, BT and EE have pledged their support for the project.
Other firms such as Asda have also given their backing to the project, with plans to host advice sessions ranging from how to set up an email account to using Skype to call friends and family.
The project was launched by the minister for Civil Society Nick Hurd, who said it was vital that the UK ensured everyone who wanted to be online could be.
"We do not want people to feel excluded, our mission is to make Britain the most digitally capable country in the world. A more digitally skilled nation will help us to boost our economy and strengthen communities,” he said.
"This new partnership is about making it easier for people to build their digital skills and confidence, with the aim of reducing the number of people offline, so that by 2020 everyone who can be online, will be."
As part of this effort SMBs and charities will also be offered access to training materials and events to understand how they can benefit from getting online.
Go On UK and Digitalskills.com are among those offering support, and the CEO of Go On UK Graham Walker was confident that this would deliver many benefits. "Working in partnership is key to ending digital poverty and equipping small businesses and charities with the digital skills they now need to succeed,” he said.
Getting more of the UK online has been a key strategy of government policy for several years, with funding for broadband rollouts and remote technology trials aimed at offering good connectivity options across the country.
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