The next UK Government cannot continue to fail the most vulnerable. At the Keeping Digital Foundation, we're working to make digital inclusion a reality. For every resident. For a better UK. 
 
In today’s interconnected world, digital inclusion is not a luxury; it is a necessity. The internet is the backbone of modern society, offering access to essential services, educational resources, job opportunities, and social connectivity. However, millions of people across the UK remain digitally excluded, unable to fully participate in this digital age due to lack of access, skills, or confidence. This digital divide exacerbates existing inequalities and marginalises those who are already vulnerable. 
 
We think the next UK Government needs to recognise the digital divide that exists in modern Britain, and work to help bridge that divide and ensure every resident has the opportunity to get online. Digital inclusion is about confidence - however, it's important that residents aren't forced to go 100% online. We're also here to ensure those residents aren't forgotten about. 

Bridging the Digital Divide, once and for all 

Access to Information and Services: In a world where more services are moving online, from banking to the NHS to government services, those without internet access are at a significant disadvantage. They struggle to perform everyday tasks, access critical information, and engage with services that many of us take for granted. 
Educational Opportunities: The educational landscape has transformed with digital technology. From online courses to virtual classrooms, the internet provides limitless learning opportunities. Yet, students without reliable internet access or digital devices are left behind, widening the educational attainment gap. 
Employment and Economic Growth: The job market increasingly favours digital literacy. Many job applications, training programs, and professional networks are now online. Without digital skills, individuals are less competitive in the job market, which impacts economic growth and personal livelihoods. 
Social Inclusion: Social isolation is a growing concern, especially among the elderly and those with disabilities. The internet can be a lifeline, offering social interaction, support networks, and community engagement. Digital inclusion fosters social cohesion and enhances quality of life. 

The Role of the next UK Government 

The next UK Government must take decisive action to promote digital inclusion. Here are key areas that need attention: 
 
Infrastructure Investment: Ensure high-speed internet access is available to all, particularly in rural and underserved urban areas. This requires significant investment in broadband infrastructure and technology. 
Affordable Access: Work with internet service providers to make broadband affordable for low-income families. Subsidies or pricing models, like Social Broadband Tariffs, that make connectivity accessible to all residents are essential. 
Digital Skills Training: Implement nationwide digital literacy programs to equip individuals with the necessary skills to navigate the online world. Schools, libraries, and community centres should serve as hubs for digital education, similar to our Digital Cafes format. 
Accessible Technology: Promote the development and distribution of devices and software that are accessible to people with disabilities. Technology should be a bridge, not a barrier, for those with additional needs. 
Public Awareness Campaigns: Raise awareness about the importance of digital inclusion and the resources available to support individuals in getting online. Public campaigns can demystify technology and encourage adoption among hesitant users. 
 
As we approach this pivotal election, we call on all political leaders to commit to a vision of the UK where everyone can participate in the digital world. Digital inclusion is not just about technology; it’s about fairness, opportunity, and empowerment. By prioritising digital inclusion, the next UK Government can build a more equitable, connected, and prosperous society for all. 
 
Let’s make digital inclusion a reality. For every resident. For a better UK. 

Download our Digital Manifesto 

Want to find out more about our campaign? Let us know your details and you'll be able to instantly download our booklet. 

Prospective Parliamentary Candidates Launch Event 

We held a Digital Manifesto Launch event with Prospective Parliamentary Candidates from across York Outer, York Central, Goole & Pocklington. The launch event included a brief overview of the work we do, real life stories from the people we support, and the recommendations we have for how the next UK Government can improve the digital divide across the country. The event also included a cross-party roundtable discussion - an opportunity for the candidates to show their dedication to their local communities. As part of these discussions, these Prospective Parliamentary Candidates were given our Digital Manifesto booklet to ensure they can take their learnings home - and hopefully into Parliament come July. 
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