Today, Capita plc (Capita) and digital inclusion charity, Good Things Foundation, are announcing their new partnership to help regional leaders across England tackle the digital divide in their communities.
The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for greater digital inclusion in England. This means ensuring people from all backgrounds, including the disadvantaged, have both access to devices and the skills necessary to use them.
The partnership will develop a new model for achieving digital inclusion, at scale, across different areas of England, with a particular focus on helping people build their essential digital skills.
It will work with combined authorities and regional bodies to create digital inclusion strategies and implementation plans which help disadvantaged people access technology.
Good Things Foundation has strong experience of this and already has good working relationships with three combined authorities: Greater Manchester, West Midlands and the North East. The project will share best practice from these areas with other combined and devolved authorities, in combination with insights on what works when it comes to supporting local people develop digital skills and confidence.
The partnership aims to engage with many combined authorities over the coming months, as the country recovers from the pandemic, to help them develop their approaches to digital inclusion.
Greater Manchester, with the support of Good Things Foundation, has committed to a 100% digitally enabled city region, backed by an Agenda for Change which has strong cross-sector support, public, private and voluntary. West Midlands has put digital inclusion at the heart of their digital strategy and has written Good Things Foundation’s proposal for a Great Digital Catch Up into their Digital Roadmap.
The partnership will further benefit from Capita’s expertise in local government delivery and marketing which it will harness to engage with councils and enable them to design and implement programmes that promote digital inclusion.
Helen Milner OBE, Group Chief Executive, Good Things Foundation said: “We’re delighted to be working with Capita and our hyperlocal partners in the Online Centres Network to develop a coherent model for achieving digital inclusion, at scale, across different areas of England.
“The fact that millions of people are being locked out of opportunity, and face isolation, due to the digital divide is not okay. This exciting partnership is an important part of our work to achieve a 100% Digitally Included Nation and ensure everyone can benefit and have opportunities in an increasingly digital world.”
Lakhraj Minhas, Divisional Head of Responsible Business, Capita Government Services, said: “We are committed to helping tackle England’s digital divide. We believe no one should be excluded from the digital revolution which is why it is one of the key focus areas of our Responsible Business Strategy.
“Our partnership with the Good Things Foundation will ultimately help people in communities across the UK improve their life outcomes through digital and allows Capita to play its part in ensuring an inclusive economic recovery.”
Notes to editors: Combined authorities are a group of two or more councils to collaborate and take collective decisions across council boundaries.
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