Funding awarded to projects in Scotland to close the digital divide

Digital divide

Power Up aims to drive economic and social inclusion through improved digital skills

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12th November 2019 by Graham Martin 0 Comments

Nine exciting projects in Edinburgh and Glasgow have been funded in a bid to tackle the digital skills gap.

Power Up, a new initiative run by the Good Things Foundation with cash from JP Morgan, aims to drive economic and social inclusion through improved digital skills.

It was developed based on extensive research which identified needs, priorities and gaps in provision. 

Funded organisations include Glasgow Life, which will be providing support to small businesses across the city, mapping digital resources, and creating a sustainable model that will connect businesses to the digital skills they need to succeed.

One Parent Families Scotland will be running Digiparent, an Edinburgh based project that will work with single parents to build their employability and digital skills.

Projects were selected after a rigorous application and selection process.

Despite widespread internet access, there is a deep divide between those who have the digital skills and confidence to benefit fully and those who do not.

Latest figures show a 17% gap in internet use between adults in high and low socio-economic groups.

The funding was welcomed by Sally Dyson, head of digital and programmes at the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO), said: “We're delighted to see the investment of £800,000 into organisations in Edinburgh and Glasgow this is a real boost to helping people and small businesses in these cities develop their digital skills.

“All the funded organisations are part of Scotland's Digital Participation Charter; the movement to help everyone gain the essential digital skills for life and work.”

Delivery for all projects will begin this month and run until April 2021.

Helen Milner, chief executive of the Good Things Foundation, said: “We’re delighted to be funding these innovative projects, who are all using digital technology in different ways to close the digital divide, as well as develop their own services, meaning we will be seeing the knock on impacts of these projects for years to come.

“We believe everyone should have the skills, confidence and access to be able to take advantage of technology - and we’re aiming for 100% digital inclusion in the UK.

Brock Lueck, manager for One Parent Families Scotland, added: “We are very excited about the opportunity to help single parents in Edinburgh become more confident online. Single parent families are much more likely to be living in poverty than those with two parents in the household.

“This restricts their ability to afford the equipment and connectivity to play a part in our increasingly digitised society, which in turn creates barriers to saving money and picking up skills that are important in work.

“Digiparent is seeking to address these issues locally and help ensure that single parents can be active and confident members of their community”