The Covid-19 lockdowns have highlighted the importance of ICT to how we live, work and relate to one another, and digitalisation will only grow in importance in the years to come.
However, a number of groups in Ireland are poorly engaged with ICT – particularly those who are older, have lower levels of education, lower incomes, and live in rural areas; as well as smaller businesses and farms. They face difficulties engaging with the online world due to variations in their broadband connection, access to devices, skills, and the confidence to engage with ICT. This is a cost for our economy, society, government and individuals.
Therefore, the National Economic and Social Council (NESC) has published a report on this issue, Digital Inclusion in Ireland: Connectivity, Devices & Skills.
The report contains five recommendations to help promote digital inclusion in Ireland, which are:
- Develop a national strategy for digital inclusion, with a key focus on co-ordination, and with a strong commitment to fine-grained measurement of progress.
- Create a comprehensive framework for digital skills progression.
- Support digital inclusion at community level.
- Deliver targeted supports for material access to key groups.
- Enhance guidance for digital and assisted-digital public services, and ‘complementary’ channels.
To launch the report, NESC is hosting a webinar that will hear from a range of speakers, outlining the findings of the report, the experience of communities impacted by digital exclusion, and the focus on digital inclusion in policy in Ireland.
The launch event will take place on the 1st July 2021 from 10am to 12pm.
The webinar will provide a forum for hearing and discussing new ideas and reform proposals. It will be of interest to policy makers, service deliverers, business, community and voluntary organisations, academics and interested individuals.
Please find a link to register here
The event programme can be views here