So this was us before we knew we’d won the Carnegie UK Trust digital skills funding. Following the #NotWithoutMe Accelerator programme we applied to take digital skills further into our programme.
Having this focus on all things digital is opening up a whole new world for us. I love seeing Jarrod disappear down rabbit holes of learning and realising we have an opportunity to do something groundbreaking.
With over 800,000 young people reportedly digitally excluded, we know those include the young people we support. It’s an anodyne term thought isn’t it? ‘Digitally excluded’ – what does it really mean and why does it matter?
Let’s start with the second question first. It matters because the world is digital by default. I’m writing this blog on my phone, giving not a thought to the WordPress app, iPhone, WiFi broadband and associated complexities that enable me to do that. I have the skill, digital knowledge and confidence and frankly, the cash, for all this to happen. It helps me and my business to communicate and embrace the world.
Without that skills, knowledge, confidence and cash you’re excluded. Excluded from communicating, excluded embracing new opportunities, from building your network, from getting the best utility or car deal, from meeting new people and from easily and cost effectively getting the basics of ‘life admin’ done.
So to answer the first question, being digitally excluded means potentially being shut out of opportunity – the led up to everything. In a city with almost the lowest social mobility in England, we exclude still further by going digital by default.
Somehow we’ve created a panacea that for all its unquestioned revolutionary brilliance, manages to continue to exclude those with most to lose.