The UK government has launched the new Digital Inclusion Strategy with the aim of reducing the number of people offline by 25% by 2016.
The scheme, developed in conjunction with the public, private and voluntary sectors, includes a national support programme that will bring together funding for digital skills projects.
A “Digital Inclusion Charter” has also been introduced and if successful, the new plan will see more than 2.7m online for the first time.
“As Sir Tim Berners-Lee reminded us in the Olympics Opening Ceremony, the Internet is for everyone,” said Minister for Civil Society Nick Hurd.
“We do not want people to feel excluded; our mission is to make Britain the most digitally capable country in the world. A more digitally-skilled nation will boost our economy and strengthen communities,” he claimed.
The new charter brings together 40 organisations from all sectors that are committed to reducing the number of people offline by 25% every two years from 2016.
“This new partnership is about making it easier for people to build their digital skills and confidence, with the aim of reducing the number of people offline, so that by 2020 everyone who can be online will be,” Hurd added.
Many large UK companies have joined the charter and launched their own programmes to expand digital skills in the nation.
Supermarket chain Asda will be launching a national programme that will offer free face-to-face advice about going online across 60 of its stores.