Digital Inclusion

Oral Answers to Questions — Cabinet Office – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 25th March 2015.

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Photo of Ann McKechin Ann McKechin Labour, Glasgow North 11:30 am, 25th March 2015

What progress he has made on promoting digital inclusion.

Photo of Rob Wilson Rob Wilson The Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office

This is a devolved matter but in England and Wales more than 70 public, private and voluntary sector organisations now support activity under the digital inclusion charter, working together to help individuals, small businesses and charities to realise the benefits of being online. Later today the Government will launch the Digital Friends initiative that will call on civil servants to go out into their communities and teach digital skills to friends, family, neighbours, or colleagues who are offline.

Photo of Ann McKechin Ann McKechin Labour, Glasgow North

The Minister will be aware that, unfortunately, Glasgow has one of the highest levels of population who are offline. The Government have recently run a series of adverts on Glasgow radio stations about encouraging people to switch their electricity and gas suppliers, but they are asking people only to use the online route. What assessment has he made about how we can encourage digital inclusion and the appropriate way to target Government adverts?

Photo of Rob Wilson Rob Wilson The Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office

As I said, this is a devolved matter. The Scottish Government published their digital participation strategy in April 2014, led by the Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop MSP, and supported by a ministerial advisory group.