5% of UK not online are in danger of being left behind

Whether it’s fixing the digital skills gap, or tackling the digital divide; it’s clear that there is a mission to ensure the UK is up to date with the necessary digital skills. This has somewhat seen some progression in the last year and a half; as more people have taken to digital smartphone apps to conduct their shopping and banking activity. 

Using your smartphone to order your favourite takeaway from JUST EAT or make a bank transaction is certainly nothing new in 2021; but as more adults attempt to get familiar with the conveniency of smartphone activity, a third of UK adults have struggled with this according to a survey by polling organisation Opinion Matters for BT. 

Their survey revealed that (36%) of over 2,000 people polled said that they, or someone they know, has struggled to use online meeting apps like Zoom. A third (33%) of respondents said they’d struggled to order food and drink using mobile apps at bars or restaurants.

The governments ‘Track and Trace’ system has been widely encouraged, however, 33% say this is something they have struggled to use. Making payments online seems like a very common and easy task for millions in the UK, but the survey revealed 28% of people found it difficult to. 

Why are people struggling with their digital apps? 

There are various reasons why people in the UK may be struggling to get to grips with using their smartphones to conduct day-to-day activities, the digital skills gap being a key factor. 22% said they lacked the necessary digital skills, 17% said they don’t have the right device and 24% said they were concerned about sharing their data. 

Lloyds Bank UK consumer digital index 2021 report shows there has been an increase in people using the internet, since the beginning of the pandemic. 

1.5 million more people now using the internet; meaning that 95% of people are now ‘online’, up from 92% pre-pandemic. Are the 5% at risk of being left behind? 

Professor Kerensa Jennings, senior adviser on digital impact at BT says that it’s important nobody is left behind as sectors such as healthcare are likely to stay online. 

“As access to many vital public services like healthcare is likely to stay online, alongside a growing range of entertainment, shopping and business services, it’s really important we make sure that no one is left behind, and we offer targeted support and help to those who need it. Through BT’s free digital skills initiative, we are committed to continuing to tackle these challenges.”