Lloyds UK Digital Index 2018 shows reasons behind the digital divideSarah Shepherd
The third Lloyds UK Consumer Digital Index released today looks into financial and digital capability in the UK for 2018. With a focus on digital skills, financial resilience, and inclusivity the report reveals improvements for those gaining digital skills, with 470,000 more than last year with new skills. Initiatives such as those set up last year by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s Digital Skills Partnership have been credited with collaborating to promote best practice through the creation of a network of over 70 cross-sector bodies.
Whilst skills take up is on the increase, the number of those who are digitally excluded remains more prevalent in certain groups – for example those registered disabled are four times more likely to be excluded and almost a third of the over-sixties are offline. A £13,000 annual income difference shows the gulf between those with the full set of Basic Digital skills and those without. Digital skills remain divided amongst both age and gender.
The primary benefit of being online, given by 82% of respondents, was better connecting with friends and family with the benefit more acute for those with advanced digital skills. Other top benefits given included better life and time organisation, saving money, job hunting and reducing feelings of loneliness. Again, for each stated reason the greater the digital capability, the more keenly felt the benefit.
On the other hand, security worries are a key blocker to getting online, with around 8 in 10 UK citizens having online security concerns, with the biggest of these concerns being online identity theft. The survey looked into how best to help alleviate these fears.
Digital Minister Margot James praised the report and the details highlighted within on the barriers faced on the road to a more digitally inclusive UK, saying: “This detail is vital for the development of effective policy and impactful interventions???.
Sarah Shepherd, BSG Policy Manager said: “We welcome the publication of Lloyd’s latest Consumer Digital Index as a really valuable contribution to anyone interested in the digital skills and inclusion debate. We willll be adding to this evidence with work later this year focussed on understanding why people remain offline and what might drive a change in attitutes to internet use”.