Bryan Rossi-Anderson, our Digital Brighton & Hove Project and Partnership Manager, presented alongside Dr Becky Faith at the ESRC Festival of Social Science on the Digital Brighton & Hove Employment Project: exploring connections and exclusion in employment and jobseeking.

Their session, in November 2020, is available to watch in the video embedded below.

The employment project, being carried out by DBH in association with the Digit research centre, involves

the distribution of 12 tablets (digital resources) to vulnerable and disconnected members of the city to contribute to understanding how to create a more digitally confident city based on the accelerated experiences of limited digital connectivity during the Covid-19 pandemic.

In the webinar, Becky and Bryan reflect on the project, and on the scale and urgency of the issues of digital exclusion and lack of essential digital skills in the UK.

Inequalities in digital skills and access have been a critical issue in recent years for sections of the population in job seeking and access to benefits.

In 2018 the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights warned that digital delivery of Universal Credit “has built a digital barrier that effectively obstructs many individuals’ access to their entitlements”.

In the UK, 11% of the population cannot turn on a digital device, and 13% cannot open up an app. Compared to the UK average, unemployed individuals are 64% more likely to lack adequate ‘Essential Digital Skills’ for life.

Text from the event web page