Almost seven million adults in the UK - 12% of the adult population - will still be left behind in ten years as a result of digital exclusion.

The financial consequences are expected to run into the billions by 2028 unless action is taken now by business and government. 

This is according to new expert analysis for Good Things Foundation conducted by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr), "The economic impact of Digital Inclusion in the UK".

In response to these findings, Good Things Foundation is calling on government and other organisations to step up their efforts to support people who are at risk of being left behind.

Their new campaign: #BridgingtheDigitalDivide, is calling on Government to commit to helping everyone in the UK able to benefit from the internet by 2028 - in order to realise these £21.8bn of benefits.

Good Things Foundation is a social change charity that supports socially excluded people to improve their lives through digital. Through more than 5,000 Online Centres in communities across the UK, Good Things Foundation helps people gain the support and skills they need to change their lives for the better.

The report provides a new analysis of the benefits the UK is missing out on by not ensuring local support for people to gain basic digital skills progresses in parallel with technological changes. 

The startling figures shine a light on an often-overlooked trend; with more and more services moving to digital platforms to save money, digital literacy needed to use these services is not keeping pace.

The report draws several conclusions including:

  • 6.9 million people will still remain digitally excluded by 2028, at the current rate of investment in digital inclusion support
  • The UK can benefit by £21.9 billion within a decade by upskilling the entire population in digital skills. The benefits from increased digital inclusion include the below [see appendix 1 for full table]:
    • £1.1bn in time savings from financial and government transactions moving online.
  • £570m added to the economy in earnings benefit from increasing individuals’ income, and government gains from higher NICs and tax receipts.
  • £313m in employment benefits from previously unemployed people entering the workforce due to being upskilled through digital training.
  • £1.1bn from cost savings in online transactions during shopping.
  • £400m communication benefits from greater online community access reducing social isolation. The report assumes that connected individuals will then invest more of their disposable income to recreational and cultural activities.
  • £141m NHS savings from increased use of digital services.
  • £487m in government savings from digital efficiency and increased use of online services.
  • £1.5bn in corporate benefits from increased productivity through greater digital skills in the workforce.
  • Providing everyone in the UK with the essential digital skills they need by 2028 will lead to a benefit of £15 for every £1 invested.

Drawing on detailed economic modelling, the report finds that the saving to the NHS alone will more than pay for the cost to provide the digital skills training and support needed to upskill the entire UK population.

As part of their new campaign, Good Things Foundation is calling for Government and companies throughout the UK to pledge their commitment to achieving a 100% digital included nation by 2028. In addition to taking action themselves, they are highlighting the extensive work that is already being done in digital inclusion and recommending practical methods for key stakeholders in government and business to ensure the UK becomes fully digitally inclusive.

Their campaign, #BridgingtheDigitalDivide asks for organisations throughout the UK to join the campaign by sharing success stories of digital inclusion and pledging to do more to close the gap. Good Things Foundation has developed resources to help organisations and individuals understand what they can do to promote full digital inclusion.

Helen Milner OBE, Chief Executive of Good Things Foundation, said:

“The UK could be the first 100% digitally included nation and this report shows there is a clear economic case for investing. So we’re calling on government and businesses to commit to getting everyone online in the next ten years. Those who profit most from digitisation have a responsibility to help improve digital inclusion.

       But there is also a clear case for acting now. It is unacceptable that so many people are being left behind, and the report we’ve commissioned underlines the urgency of stepping up our efforts.

“We’d like to thank our partners for their support in helping to bridge the digital divide - but there is a need to do more, faster. We know that more can be done by working in partnership across sectors.”

Salim Shaikh, Director of Smartlyte Limited in Birmingham, which is a Flagship Online Centre for Good Things Foundation said:

“For many people we see, it’s the first time they’ve created an email address or even used a computer. When they’re made aware of the vast amount of services and opportunities available to them, they take that information and share it with family and friends. It creates intergenerational learning, so we see more and more people benefitting from digital inclusion.

“From using Skype to contact friends and relatives, understanding new welfare systems such as Universal Credit and learning how to save money online, we’re able to take people from a state of isolation, to one of empowerment, all through digital inclusion. 

“We have helped nearly 5000 people and their families since March 2017 and their lives have been transformed through digital empowerment.

“I’m fully behind Good Things Foundation and their #BridgingtheDigitalDivide campaign.”

Appendix 1: Table 1: Summary of the cost and benefits of the proposed investment programme, £ million (2017 prices)



Year 1

Year 10

Total (present value)











Investment costs

Operating cost




Investment cost




User costs

User cost of digital devices




User benefits

Net earnings benefits




Net employment benefits




Transaction benefits




Communication benefits




Time savings




Gov. benefits

NHS cost savings




Income tax and NI receipts




Gov. and user benefits

Digital efficiency savings




Corporate benefits

Reduction in digital skills shortages vacancies





Discount factor @ 3.5%





Present value




Source: Cebr analysis


You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel shared a video in channel. 5 hours 13 minutes ago

Special Education Needs: “My battle to get an...

The BBC has obtained exclusive evidence that special education needs (SEN) support placements significantly drop post the age of 16 for students...

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel had a status update on Twitter 5 hours 14 minutes ago

? New Podcast! "#VirtualCoffee with David Gallagher on the future of education, skills and employability" on…
View Original Tweet

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In Jan 2021, FE News had over 173,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector, putting us in the top 2,000 websites in the UK.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page