This Forum will provide attendees with an opportunity to review the latest updates and initiatives being implemented to boost digital skills and improve social inclusion across the UK. Participants will hear from key stakeholders, including the APPG on Digital Skills, MHCLG and The Good Things Foundation, on the critical impact Covid-19 is having on the digital skills and inclusion agenda.
Furthermore, best practice case studies will discuss how to deliver innovative targeted programmes for local groups at risk of exclusion through collaborative multi-agency partnerships and offer solutions to the most pressing challenges facing the digital inclusion community at this time.
Watch this video to find out more about the online conference experience.
Key Features of an Online IG Conference
- Match making networking and live delegate meet ups
- Replay functions so you never miss a session
- Live chat, questioning and polling tools
- Real time resources and presentations
- Topic based discussion groups
- Next generation conference engagement platform
Welcome to the Digital Skills and Inclusion Forum. We have designed this conference with virtual in mind from the outset and therefore have designed the day to be as practical and solutions focused as possible for you.
Some of the key themes and challenges that we will be looking at solutions to across the day will include:
- Impact of government policy and guidance updates
- Covid-19; What has been the impact and how should local organisations respond?
- What does the future hold for digital skills provision? How do we seize the moment?
- Next steps and improving digital skills provision for some of the most vulnerable people across society
- Outlining the critical juncture that we are at with digital skills and inclusion including the changing landscape as a result of Covid-19 with 1.9 million people shut out of online services completely
- Viewing digital skills and inclusion as a critical health and wellbeing issue that needs to be acted upon immediately
- Analysing the implementation of the Digital Skills Strategy and outlining urgent issues local partners need to address as a result of Covid-19 to ensure effective digital skills provision
- Sharing evidence and lessons learned by the APPG on Digital Skills throughout the Covid-19 crisis and outlining the next steps in tackling this issue
Question and Answers to follow (10:20am – 10:30am)
Matt Wood-Hill, Collaboration Manager at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government will outline how MHCLG’s Local Digital Team has been helping local councils support their digital skills efforts through the pandemic.
This session will outline what MHCLG have learnt during the pandemic and discuss how they look to successfully support and fund projects that seek to bridge digital inclusion gaps in the community through the Local Digital Fund.
There will be a 10-minute Question and Answers Session at the end of Matt’s presentation from 10:50am – 11:00am.
Kerry Harrison, Digital Skills Coordinator at Lancashire LEP will outline how the Lancashire Digital Skills Partnership (LDSP) overcame the challenges presented by Covid-19 to implement a key stakeholder network made up of the public, private and voluntary sectors.
This network-enabled the LDSP to establish local projects to help develop the digital skills of Lancashire residents, including vulnerable adults, young people and families as well as local businesses.
This 30-minute session will aim to outline common key challenges faced by LDSP and many others as a result of Covid-19 and provide attendees with the opportunity to ask questions around these key challenges and discuss with LDSP how they have looked to implement effective solutions.
Winner of Digital Leaders 100 Award 2020
There will be a 10-minute Question and Answers Session at the end of Karry’s presentation from 11:40am – 11:50am.
This session will examine LiveWest Housing Association’s £100,000 grant programme to support digital projects across the South West of England. They have issued more than £140,000 in grants to almost 800 households across the region since March 2020. The new grants are aimed to support access to digital facilities in the community, improve digital skills and help residents overcome connectivity barriers.
- Outlining how LiveWest successfully established the community grant, managed applications, and ensured it was designed to help develop basic digital skills and confidence across the community
- Sharing guidance on supporting customers with grants for digital equipment
- Evaluating how LiveWest ensures grants supported vulnerable residents throughout the Covid-19 lockdown period
There will be a 10-minute Question and Answers Session at 12:10pm – 12:20pm, following Tim’s presentation.
- Outlining how Leeds and Croydon Council successfully secured funding from MHCLG’s Local Digital COVID-19 Challenge to create a collaborative digital inclusion toolkit
- Examining how the two councils work in partnership with AgeUK Croydon and TechResort to test and develop the digital inclusion toolkit
- Highlighting how lessons learnt from Leeds award winning 100% Digital Leeds programme will be embedded into the toolkit
- Analysing the next steps in the creation process of the toolkit and plans to ensure the toolkit can be accessed by councils, businesses, and charities
There will be a 10-minute Question and Answers Session at 1:00pm – 1:10pm, following Sarah’s presentation
- Understanding how the Wales Co-operative Centre works in partnership with higher education and voluntary sector organisations to research and deliver inclusion programmes across Wales
- Outlining how the programme supports clinical staff and other health professionals to develop their digital skills, allowing NHS/social care staff to act as digital champions and recommend digital skills to patients
- Examining the impact building a Digital Health Information Network had on improving digital skills and tackling social exclusion
- Sharing advice and guidance on training workers to take a community-based approach to help improve digital inclusion
There will be a 10-minute Question and Answers Session at 1:30pm – 1:40pm, following Lara’s presentation
This panel discussion will analyse the key lessons that the panellists and their organisations have learnt throughout the Covid-19 crisis.
Delegates will have the opportunity throughout the 30-minute discussion to put their own organisational and personal challenges to the panel to ensure that practical solutions and guidance is being delivered on improving digital skills and inclusion in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.
This panel will include representatives from local government and the voluntary and housing sectors.
Helen Milner OBE, Chief Executive at The Good Things Foundation will outline the critical nature of the situation we currently find ourselves in with some of the most vulnerable in society lacking basic essential digital skills and feeling completely isolated as a result, with this having terrible effects on their mental and physical wellbeing.
Helen will outline the next steps in the fight to get these people properly recognised by government and online as soon as possible and discuss how exactly local councils, voluntary sector organisations and Digital Skills Partnerships can work together to take this forward.
This session will also discuss key recommendations from The Good Things Foundation’s “Blueprint for a 100% Digitally Included UK”, October 2020 report.
There will be a 10-minute Question and Answers Session at 2:50pm – 3:00pm, following Helen’s presentation.
Highlighting key takeaways, lessons learned and solutions to implement within your own organisation.
As always we would love to continue the conversation on with all of our delegates post-event so please feel free to access the post-event resources and share with us exactly what you took away from the day.
*Programme Subject to change
This conference is specifically designed to be a multi-sector event including Local Government, Central Government, Housing, Voluntary and Higher and Further Education sectors. Those in attendance with include:
- Digital Inclusion Officers
- Directors of Digital Transformation
- Heads of Digital
- Heads of Organisational Development
- Community Engagement and Involvement Officers
- Community and Regeneration Officers
- Customer Experience Manager
- Community Development Officer
- Community Learning Coordinator
- Digital Learning Managers