LSE, Ofcom and Tinder Foundation are set to lead a group of academic institutions and charities for a Social Digital Research Symposium in a bid to address digital exclusion in the UK.
According to research from Go ON UK, around 16 million people in the UK aged 15 and over do not have basic online skills, yet 90% of all jobs are set to require ICT literacy by 2015. LSE, Ofcom and Tinder Foundation have joined forces to try and get to the cause of the digital divide.
A number of universities and organisations will attend the symposium, including the Office for National Statistics, Oxford Internet Institute, Edinburgh University and Liverpool John Moores University, Age UK and AbilityNet. Datasets relating to education, unemployment, smartphone usage and online access within social housing will be analysed to see if any conclusions can be drawn.
“What we will be looking at what today are the big questions around digital inclusion that go beyond the basic things that we already know, and see if we can use the data to come up with some more in-depth and nuanced answers to those questions,” Dr Ellen Helsper at the LSE told ComputerworldUK. “We hope to have an impact with the government and regulators who are really trying to make sure that the population of the country is digitally skilled and capable of being engaged with the information society that we are moving towards.”