As part of working on the Communities 2.0 project, I have been involved with several initiatives promoting digital skills around Wales. Get Caerphilly Online is one of these and is a partnership between Communities 2.0, Caerphilly County Borough Council, Get IT Together and BT. My role within the team is similar to my Communities 2.0 position, advising and assisting with the GCO website and with the running of events.
40,000 Adults in Caerphilly Not Online
Our ultimate aim is to help and encourage as many people to use technology and the internet. This is a huge challenge due to the fact that approximately 40,000 adults (National Survey for Wales 2012-2013) are currently considered digitally excluded in the Caerphilly borough. Basically this means 40,000 (or 30%) not use the internet or new technology regularly and maybe don’t have the digital skills, equipment or internet access necessary so we are here to support them to do so.
Why is this so important?
Digital skills are as important as reading and writing, and those who do not have those skills are increasingly economically and socially disadvantaged. The ‘Digital Inclusion’ agenda is about improving people’s lives; helping people to communicate moreeasily, purchase goods for lower prices, find employment, learn, communicate and being able to access public services more easily. Digital inclusion is also about increasing social integration and helping to alleviate poverty in Wales.
One of our team, Angharad Dalton, came up with a phrase we all believe in: