Civil service ‘Digital Friends’ to help get the UK online

The Cabinet Office and Government Digital Service is encouraging people to join its ‘Digital Friends’ initiative which will recruit civil servants to share skills with friends, family and neighbours and help them get online.

By increasing awareness and encouraging people to teach digital skills, civil servants can help to reach the estimated 21% of the UK population who lack the basic digital skills required to benefit from the internet.

Under the Digital Friends scheme, civil service staff are encouraged to find someone they know who needs help to go online, and give them basic advice and support on skills. This may include browsing the web, email and online safety. They can share their experiences on Facebook and Twitter using #DigitalFriends.

Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office, said: “As part of the government’s long term economic plan, we want to reduce the UK’s offline population by 25% every 2 years, so that by 2020, everyone who can be online, will be. We are working in partnership with the public, private and voluntary sectors to help people use and benefit from the internet. I’m calling on civil servants, and the public at large, to do something great in your community by becoming a Digital friend.”

People from across the public sector are invited to become Digital Friends. Click here to find out how to become one.

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