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Poor UK workforce internet skills cost economy billions

According to a new report from UK digital champion – that’s a real title apparently – Martha Lane Fox, 4.5 million of those currently in work don’t have the necessary IT skills to make use of the internet in their businesses, causing British industry to miss out on nearly £20 billion a year.

The report also claims that only a third of small and medium businesses have a website at all, with less than half of those that do selling their products online.

This is on top of the other 12 million citizens that aren’t in work that don’t really know how to use the internet properly. While that’s hardly the richest segment of society, that’s a lot of potential home shoppers that could be injecting more money into the economy, as well as saving money themselves through comparison shopping.

Martha Lane Fox
Do you think she had to kill the last digital champion to get that title?

“We read every day of the huge challenges that the UK faces both economically and socially. The findings of this report and the commitments from the founder partners of Go ON UK are the first step in unlocking the potential of the country by putting the Internet at the heart of the solution,” said Lane Fox (via the Telegraph). “We need to make the country fit for purpose through the next decade and ensure everyone and every organisation has basic digital literacy.”

Go ON UK is a charity founded by Lane Fox and partnered with businesses like Lloyds bank, mobile provider Everything Everywhere, the Post Office and the BBC, which aims to help workers and their families get online and receive the necessary training to do so.

KitGuru Says: I think everyone knows at least one person that is still proud that they don’t go online or don’t use computers. Who’s yours?

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