UK Youth

Digital Hubs and Digital Champions to support the most isolated young people.

Engaging the UK’s most digitally disadvantaged young people

The challenge

The Basic Digital Skills UK 2017 report suggests that, despite an overall increase in the number of UK adults who have gained basic digital skills, at least 3% (300,000) of those aged 15-24 are still being left behind. Nominet Trust’s own research indicates that it is this group that is the most likely to be facing multiple forms of disadvantage. Digital Reach has been created to respond to this national challenge by reimagining digital skills delivery to the hardest-to-reach young people in our society.

The aim of the project

With Nominet Trust’s funding and support, Digital Reach will be implemented through a consortium of delivery partners, all renowned for their work with disadvantaged young people. The programme will initially aim to engage with 4,000 of those on the wrong side of the digital divide; the effectiveness of models to scale will also be evaluated, allowing more young people to be reached.

Positive outcomes

Nominet Trust is investing over £600,000 into the following six initiatives chosen following a rigorous selection and pitching process. Twelve organisations will be involved in developing and implementing pilots over the next nine months:

  • Action for Children: Action for Children (ACF) will digitise their current paper-based content across three employability programmes in severely deprived urban areas in Scotland.
  • Carers Trust: Carers Trust will work with Good Things Foundation to develop an e-learning resource for young adult carers as an extension to Learn My Way (the most widely used tool for digital skills delivered through libraries and community organisations). Eight Carers Trust Network Partners will use the resource to help young adult carers gain the basic digital skills they need to achieve their aspirations.
  • Home-Start and #techmums: Home-Start and #techmums will collaborate to help 500 young mothers acquire basic digital skills to overcome the challenges they face in their daily lives, helping them become more confident and to achieve their personal and professional goals.
  • The Children’s Society and City & Guilds Group: The Children’s Society and City & Guilds will engage 550 young people across the Midlands and the North of England by helping them to improve their digital skills through accredited course development.
  • UK Youth: UK Youth will use the investment to create Digital Hubs in 10 member organisations, training a youth worker and three young people to become Digital Champions. They will then work with referral and outreach partners to support the most isolated young people that are engaged with the Digital Hubs.
  • Wales Co-operative Centre, YMCA Swansea, Llamau and GISDA: Wales Co-Operative Centre will work with YMCA Swansea, Llamau and GISDA to engage 375 of the hardest-to-reach young people across Wales through a series of workshops and by incorporating digital literacy into existing life skills programmes.

Read more about Digital Reach here