Runner up: UK Online centres
Category: ‘Be part of IT’ – large organisations
UK Online Centres is Britain’s leading digital inclusion initiative, supporting over 3,800 centres throughout the country to help people get online in their communities. Through working with partners and running marketing campaigns, they have supported 1 million people to get online since April 2010.
As the number of offline residents in the UK decreases, and those left offline become harder and harder to reach, UK Online Centres has developed innovative outreach programmes helping people to get online in unusual locations, including pubs, cafes and launderettes – places which are more accessible than traditional learning environments, combating traditional misconceptions associated with formal learning.
The impact of the work done is huge. 70% of learners visiting UK Online Centres progress to using government websites, 67% to further learning and 60% to employment.
“Staying positive and being proactive is really important when looking for work but it’s not always easy. That’s why I’m so proud of all the new skills I’ve managed to gain while being out of work.”
UK Online Centres has also recently launched two specialist networks to provide support to the two groups who are often most in need. The Specialist Into Work Network is a group of centres with the specific resources and expertise to support those who are offline and unemployed (29% of UK online centres users classing themselves as unemployed), upskilling them and helping them get back into work. The Specialist Network comprises centres that help those with a disability get started online. Almost half of the total offline population has a disability, so they need the in-depth support.