ICT Digital Inclusion

As many as 7.8 million adults in the UK have never accessed the internet and the vast majority of those are also socially excluded older adults, those in low paid employment or unemployed.

They are unable to enjoy the benefits of being online that the rest of us take for granted - shopping, paying bills online and saving money, social networking and finding information you need. Over 90% of jobs in today’s world require basic internet skills.

The government wants trade unions and ULRs to play a role in getting people online and developing their ICT skills.

What are unionlearn doing?

  • Supporting and developing GO ON Places Digital Inclusion Campaigns. These are Local Authority campaigns to reduce the numbers of adults who have never used the internet. GO ON Liverpool was launched in June 2011 leading to over 43,000 adults in Liverpool getting online in a year. North West Unionlearn has since supported the development and launch of similar campaigns in Manchester, Knowsley, Wirral and Oldham. The Northern team are supporting devlopments in Newcastle and Durham.
  • Supporting the recruitment, development and training of trade union digital champions. Find out more about the role and register to become a digital champion.
  • To help with meeting the challenge of communicating with and supporting potentially hundreds of centres, unionlearn have prepared a new directory of union-led learning centres and spaces. With great help from unions and unionlearn regions we have compiled a list of over 400 centres, with contact details and information on the services provided at each centre. Access the learning centre directory.
  • Refurbished computers for under £100 are available to ULRs to help members overcome cost as a barrier to getting connected. Microsoft and partners have agreed that ULRs are eligible to order a maximun of six refurbished computers. ULRs just have to click they are eligible for the lower price of £99 for a desktop and £169 for a laptop computer. To see the latest computer and internet connection offers, visit [email protected].

Digital Inclusion partners

Unionlearn is working with a range of local and regional partners supported by key national partner organisations including the following:

UK Online Centres

UK online centres provide millions of people with access to technology and support in using it, at 3,800 local centres across England. All UK online centres offer free or low cost access to the internet, deliver online courses, including online basics, through the learning website Learn My Way and encourage people to progress onto further learning.

Online Centres Network is run by Online Centres Foundation, a staff owned mutual social enterprise whose vision is to deliver large scale social action in thousands of local communities, so everyone can be part of a fully networked nation. Register to become a UK Online centre.

Online Basics

This short, free course will help you get to grips with the basics you need to get going online. It covers:

  • How to use a keyboard and mouse
  • How to search and explore the internet
  • How to keep in touch with email
  • How to stay safe online

To find out more about online basics you will need to sign up. This means you’ll have your own personal account, and each time you visit it will remember exactly where you left off. Signing up is really easy. If you’re already familiar with the mouse and keyboard, you’re ready to go! Register for online basics.
You will be asked for a centre code. The unionlearn centre code is 3450748.


doteveryone is a charity that aims to make the UK the most digitally capable nation in the world.

This is an urgent priority because:

  • Only 14 per cent of SMEs sell products and services online (Lloyds Banking Group/ BDRC April 2012)
  • ICT is the biggest skills-gap in the charity sector (NCVO)
  • 7.82 million adults have still NEVER used the internet Go ON UK has been founded by a radical cross-sector partnership.  Age UK, BBC, BIG Lottery Fund, E.ON, Everything Everywhere, Lloyds Banking Group, Post Office, TalkTalk  have come together make the UK the most digitally capable nation, in which everyone and every organisation is able to enjoy the social, economic and cultural benefits of the internet.

It is also supported by expert organisations such as Childnet, One Voice, e-Skills UK and UK online centres.


The BBC have brought together their online media literacy resources, including their best films, guides, courses, games and articles under one virtual roof. This 'one stop shop' for media literacy features the best of BBC Connect, First Click, and Give an Hour, as well as some great new content. As a trusted brand, 'Webwise' is used by hundreds of thousands of people and is a natural home for their media literacy resources. The BBC are changing the Webwise slogan from 'a beginner's guide to the internet' to 'making the most of being online' to reflect our commitment to learners of all abilities.

Like any good online presence, Webwise will continue to be developed. For example, as part of the BBC contribution to Get Online Week 2012, BBC Learning has invested in six brand new films and guides, showing people how to get online using their smart phone or tablet and to make the most of being online. Working in partnership is central to the BBC approach to delivering media literacy and as such are making all the new films embeddable by partners.

Digital Unite

Digital Unite is one of the UK’s leading providers of digital skills learning. They provide a range of resources and services to support people on their digital journey, from the complete beginner to those helping others to get online. They offer:

For more information, call 0800 228 9272.

Age UK

Age UK aims to lead the way in helping older people overcome barriers to getting online and enjoying what the internet can offer. More than 200,000 people in later life are helped each year resulting in a sense of increased independence and decreased social isolation and loneliness. Older people are able to make cost savings and take advantage of services and life enhancing opportunities increasingly delivered online.

In addition to providing information to older people on the practical benefits of being online Age UK manages a number of UK-wide digital inclusion programmes. This includes the Digital Inclusion Network consisting of 200+ partner organisations offering computer training to older people, a high profile annual digital inclusion campaign known as Itea and biscuits week, an annual Internet Champion of the Year search and a range of IT Volunteering initiatives.

There is additional development work with local Age UK partners to pilot new activities and work them into sustainable models and to grow the capacity of digital inclusion services to work with harder to reach older people in different stages of their lives and in different settings.