From paying bills to finding out when your bins are collected so much of what we need to access is now online.
But we are facing a digital crisis with nearly a fifth of the population offline or lacking the basic digital skills. So who are the digitally excluded, and can getting connected improve your life and save you cash?
We live in an increasingly digital world and although most of us might be connected there are still over 11 million people in the UK who lack basic online skills. Reporter Jonathan Maitland investigates who are the digitally excluded and what’s the cost in Priced Out? Old and Offline
The biggest group of non- internet users in the UK are the over 65’s - there’s 4 million of them who are not online - like 83 year old Lillian Hurley from Cheshire.
Lillian’s family are now scattered across the country and wanting to keep in touch more and share in their lives has made Lillian think now might be the time to get online. So Tonight arranged for Lillian to have some digital lessons with Ryan McMurdo who teaches the most digitally excluded across Stockport.
But it’s not just the over 65’s who are struggling online, nearly a fifth of the population are lacking basic digital skills - which is not great news when it’s predicted that 90% of jobs will require them over the next twenty years.
Up until the age of 47 single parent Carolyn Hill from Liverpool had happily spent her life offline, leaving the family computer to the kids.
Carolyn had worked as an office cleaner for many years but when she was unexpectedly made redundant she discovered that finding a job in a digital world was now very different.
With no digital skills she couldn’t apply for jobs and was getting nowhere, so after a few months she hesitantly signed up for some online lessons at Kensington Learning Centre and it wasn’t long before she got the job news she was after.
Of course it costs to connect to the internet. You need broadband and the equipment, and that often means that the poorest in society have the least access, which is a real problem when more and more services are moving online.
In Leeds they are planning to bridge the Digital Divide - The big plan has been coined 100% digital Leeds with the aim to reach the most disadvantaged and help them get connected.
One of many projects to get the city connected is taking place at St George’s Crypt - a charity thats looks after the cities homeless and vulnerable, providing beds, meals and online training.
Here they provide online training to assist with housing searches, applying for benefits, job searches along with online college courses to gain qualifications in kitchen health and hygiene.
24 year old Stephen Shaw has been homeless on and off since he was sixteen and has been coming to the centre for the last year. He’s already gained the basic online skills to access his benefits and apply for housing and he’s part way through his online course in kitchen health and hygiene.
Below is some information if your want some support with your online skills: