To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what (a) funding his Department is undertaking and (b) projects his Department has planned as part of the Government's Digital Inclusion Strategy.
There are a number of projects in the Department that include elements of Digital Inclusion. The funding for these projects is agreed at the appropriate time during the project’s lifecycle.
Every DWP digital transformation project is designed around user needs. In researching these needs throughout the projects’ development we determine the volumes and requirements of those people who are not digitally included, and ensure that there are solutions in place to cater for them.
IT access will be available to those without it in Jobcentres and through partner organisations such as libraries as well as through other local providers. Universal Credit provides support for those without digital skills to gain them.
DWP is also partnered with many third party organisations with an aim to raise digital capabilities within the Department and across the UK. One such partnership is with Barclays, with whom we have run a joint exercise, pairing their Digital Eagles with our Business Coaches, as well as evaluating the usefulness of their Digital Driving Licence in identifying digital capability gaps and requirements amongst DWP’s employees.
DWP is a contributory Department in the Digital Friends initiative. This initiative is intended to up-skill staff within the Department and in wider society through sharing existing digital skills with colleagues, friends, family and neighbours.