Leaving nobody behind in access to and use of technologyThe isolation caused by the pandemic has highlighted the vulnerability of homes without technological connections and brought to light new profiles of people suffering the consequences of the digital divide, which currently stands at 9.5%. Barcelona Activa is launching new measures to mitigate the situation and help build people’s digital skills.
What is the digital divide?
The digital divide refers to an inequality which leads to other social disadvantages. It includes having no access to broadband infrastructures, a computer or mobile device with mobile data or wi-fi, as well as a lack of knowledge on how to use such technology.
According to data from Barcelona Activa, people with basic technology training needs are no longer the oldest generations or the least qualified. The most recent demand is among people between the ages of 41 and 54, mainly women with university degrees and employed by companies.
How to combat the situation?
The isolation caused by the pandemic has made people grasp the importance of acquiring better technology skills. Basic ICT training programmes run by Barcelona Activa have been multiplied by almost 50%, with 30 virtual classrooms per week and over 1,500 people taking part in an average of three activities per person.
The current period has seen Barcelona Activa: make its range of training virtual, prioritise on-site training where possible for groups without online access and include digital literacy in all employment programmes given its importance in terms of job seeking.
Breaking down inequalities caused by not having internet access or technological knowledge
Barcelona Activa has designed new strategies to prioritise on-site training, linked to the return to normality and intended to reach the most digitally vulnerable groups, bridge the digital divide and equip those affected with the skills they need.
The measures being urgently implemented by Barcelona Activa are:
- Improved service and more users.
- New basic technology training capsules for employment programmes to boost the chances of people finding work.
- Classes at the Cibernàrium in the MediaTIC building, to enable people without internet access to participate in basic skills courses.
- Resumption of the extension of basic on-site Cibernàrium training at the city’s libraries as soon as possible.
- More basic technological training in virtual classrooms.