Access Granted: Don't Get Left Behind as the World Goes Online
Money management magazine Quids in! and training and employment project Clean Slate have come together to launch Access Granted, a campaign to ensure no-one is left behind as the world goes online.
We fear millions of people in the UK will lose out more and more because advice, services, jobs and shopping are simply cheaper to offer online. We remain committed to taking help and advice to those who don't have access, the knowhow or the money to use a computer but there is no turning back the tide: Saying people shouldn't need to know how to use a computer will soon be like saying people shouldn't need to know how to read and write.
HOW ARE PEOPLE LOSING OUT?
- Many cheaper deals, eg, for gas and electricity, are only available online and shopping around almost always results in savings
- More and more, welfare recipients will be expected to apply for benefits online
- Local services will be accessed more online and there will be fewer places where someone in need can speak to someone in person
- Jobs are advertised on the web and job applications are often expected online – even if the job doesn't require a computer. More Job Centre Plus support is now also digital
- Cuts to help like Legal Aid and increased demand for advice centres means the information all of us might one day need is easier to find on the internet
WHAT WILL WE DO ABOUT IT?
- Encourage Quids in! readers (people on low incomes and in poverty) and jobseekers we come into contact with by promoting what's in it for them
- Publish and improve websites so they are easy to use by people who are beginners with the internet
- Work with partners in local authorities, social housing and communities to ensure enough free access to computers is available to meet the need
- Roll out programmes to train Online Champions in communities to provide basic support to people who want to get online
WHAT CAN YOU DO ABOUT IT?
- 'Like' our campaign on Facebook and/or follow our Access Granted ‘promotion’ on LinkedIn by joining either the group for Clean Slate Training & Employment or Quids in! (Professionals): http://lnkd.in/YTjZyq
- Get your local MP, councillors, social landlords, and community groups to pledge to make more PCs freely available to people in need
- Visit our Access Granted-affiliated websites (more information to follow) and point people who need help in their direction
- Pledge to provide access to online facilities so we can promote where they are