Scottish Government announces sixth round of funding for digital inclusion

Written by Jenni Davidson on 4 April 2018 in News

£200,000 will be available through the Digital Participation Charter Fund to help those who might otherwise be digitally excluded

Digital skills - Image credit: ellagrin/Adobe stock

The Scottish Government has announced an additional £200,000 funding for the teaching of digital skills to those who might otherwise be excluded from the benefits of technoogy.

The announcement marks the sixth round of Scottish Government funding to the Digital Participation Charter Fund.

The fund, which is administered by SCVO, has supported 143 organisations to help 15,000 vulnerable people gain basic digital skills since its launch in 2014.

It supports the work of the Digital Participation Charter – a group of organisations which use their expertise to help people in the community access the internet and common technologies.

Organisations can bid for funds of up to £10,000 to support working age people to increase their financial independence and employment opportunities or to reduce social isolation and loneliness through digital skills.

Last week Citizens Advice Scotland became the 500th signatory to the charter.

Announcing the new round of funding, culture secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “The Scottish Government is committed to increasing digital participation and ensuring that everyone gets the opportunity to enjoy the social, cultural and economic benefits digital skills can bring.

“Our Digital Participation Charter Fund is a key part of that work.

“The funding I’m announcing today will be focussed on reducing isolation and loneliness and helping people get back into the world of work.

“I would like to thank all of the 500 organisations who have supported this work by signing up to the Digital Participation Charter – including our latest signatory, Citizens Advice Scotland.”

Citizens Advice Scotland trustee Karen Nailen said the Citizens Advice Bureau network could play an important role in supporting digital participation.

She said: “We have a national reach: with almost 300 locations across Scotland, we help one in 14 adults every year – 34 per cent of whom have limited or no access to the internet.

“We also have more than 3,000 staff and volunteers and we want to ensure those individuals have the skills and confidence to support clients to get online.”

David McNeill, Director of Digital at SCVO, added: “Citizens Advice Scotland join an active community of organisations across the public, private and third sectors who are taking action to support the 800,000 people in Scotland who need help to make the most of new technology and the internet.”

The closing date for applications for funding is 11 June.

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