Headlines: June 21st, 2010

A big push is beginning in Wales to encourage more people to use the internet. The Welsh Assembly Government is asking for views on how this can be done as part of its wider consultation on the Welsh Digital Inclusion Framework, which aims to help people gain the skills and confidence to get online.

Welsh Social Justice Minister Carl Sargeant has called on private, public and third sector organisations, as well the general public, to get involved in the consultation process. He said many people avoided going online as they thought they did not have the skills, know-how or money to use the internet.

Older people, those with disabilities and people who are out of work make up most of the 900,000 adults in Wales who never use the internet. The Minister stressed the importance of ensuring that everyone was able to get online if they wished to. Mr. Sargeant added: “The framework aims to recognise the difficulties people face in using the web and suggest ways of overcoming these. We need people from across Wales to tell us their thoughts on what we are proposing so that the framework gets it right.”

He said people used the ‘net for a wide range of activities, including shopping and keeping in touch with their families but many employers also required staff to be IT literate, so it was important that everyone could use the web.