More than 60,000 households have been able to develop digital skills online to help improve their chances of securing a job or reducing isolation, thanks to the £48 million Connecting Scotland programme.
Those on lower incomes and groups like older people, single parents and disabled people have been able to access training and support to use their devices. Among other benefits, this enabled use of online services during the pandemic and the making of job applications.
People who were at higher risk and shielding from the COVID pandemic were able to access online health and public services and maintain virtual contact with family and friends.
Kenneth Gibson MSP said:
“The SNP Government put in place the £48 million Connecting Scotland Programme to ensure those who faced the most barriers to accessing online services were supported and not left behind as a result of the pandemic.
“This programme has provided a vital lifeline for many people across North Ayrshire, Arran, Cumbrae and beyond. It’s helped families maintain virtual contact with each other and allowed people to access public, health and employment services that were only available online.
“As well as helping more than 60,000 more households access services online, this has been an investment in the future of Scotland’s digital economy and will help wider efforts to close the digital divide by ensuring as many people as possible have the skills required to enter the workforce.”
Further information on Connecting Scotland is available.
Connecting Scotland was a 2021/22 Programme for Government commitment and is delivered in partnership with the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) and local authorities.
Planning for future development of the service is underway, in line with the PfG commitment to extend Connecting Scotland to bring 300,000 people online by the end of this term of the Scottish Parliament.