Civil servants encouraged to share digital skills with friends and family as part of new ‘Digital Friends’ initiative

Whitehall officials recruited to teach friends and family basic digital skills in Cabinet Office drive to get more people online


By Sarah.Aston

26 Mar 2015

Civil servants have been encouraged to take part in a new scheme that aims to reduce the number of people who lack basic digital skills.

Led by the Cabinet Office and the Government Digital Service, the Digital Friends scheme aims to raise awareness of the benefits of using online services, and forms a part of the Government Digital Inclusion Strategy.

Partner organisations – which include the BBC, Barclays and the Society of Chief Librarians – have also encouraged staff to take part in the initiative.  

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Launching the initiative, Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude urged civil servants to get involved and share their digital skills with friends, family and neighbours in a bid to help more people get online.

“As part of the government’s long term economic plan, we want to reduce the UK’s offline population by 25% every 2 years, so that by 2020, everyone who can be online, will be,” he said.

“I’m calling on civil servants, and the public at large, to do something great in your community by becoming a digital friend.”

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