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Scottish Government adds to digital inclusion fund

08/06/21

Mark Say Managing Editor

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The Scottish Government has announced plans to invest £26 million in a new round of projects to reduce digital exclusion in the country.

Kate Forbes

It said that the next stage of the Connecting Scotland programme will support training and skills development for around 23,000 people on low incomes, along with the provision of devices such as iPads and Chromebooks and unlimited data for two years.

Organisations can apply for funding for specific initiatives up to 5 July.

In addition, an existing 36,000 recipients will receive another year of unlimited data.

This builds upon previous funding aimed at helping more people access the internet, include those who were at high risk from Covid-19, care home residents, disadvantaged families with children and young people leaving care.

Role in recovery

Finance and Economy Secretary Kate Forbes said: “With technology playing an increasingly important role in our society, ensuring people can get online and have the right skills and training is even more important to Scotland’s recovery from the pandemic.

“The Scottish Government committed to helping more people get online within our first 100 days plan and that is why we are providing an additional £26 million to help a further 23,000 households experiencing difficulties with online access.

“This investment will help thousands of people get online, making sure they are not further disadvantaged by providing the necessary hardware, data, and skills they need to get connected and get the skills they need to enter the workforce.”

Connecting Scotland was launched in May 2020 with an initial £5 million investment aimed at supporting people classified as at high risk from the pandemic. It is delivered in partnership with the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations and local authorities, in collaboration with a range of local, public and third sector organisations.

Image from Monkey1987king, CC BY-SA 4.0

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