Almost a quarter of small businesses lack digital skills20 October 2014
UK charity Go.On UK reveals in latest research that over 12 million people and a million small businesses in the UK do not have the skills to prosper in the digital era.
Go.On UK produced what it calls a “digital exclusion heatmap”, specifically indicating to the areas in the UK where people will most likely fail to have the relevant digital skills and miss a crucial opportunity in current the digital revolution.
The map identified that Wales very much suffered with over a third of the population without the five digital skills, as defined by the charity. This is partly due to the fact that Wales has the lowest levels of internet access, with places like Merthyr Tydfil amongst the poorest in the UK.
However, London, Scotland and East Anglia rested at the top with over 80 per cent of people having those necessary skills which include managing information, communicating, making payments, solving problems, and creating ‘stuff’ online.
The map also showed that men are less likely to be digitally disadvantaged than women, with 80 per cent having the necessary skills as compared to 74 per cent of women.
However the charity says that in comparison to other countries, the UK is doing rather well in regards to broadband availability, as well as in our use of mobile devices. But this still does not match up to our OECD rivals like Japan, Finland and the Netherlands where we still remain a little below average.
Go.On UK, chaired by the government’s former digital advisor Baroness Martha Lane Fox, has warned about the dangers of having a skills gap and continues to warn of a threat to economic growth, productivity and social mobility if it does not close.