The economic impact of digital inclusion in the UK

This report - commissioned from economists Cebr and supported by Capita - sets out the costs and benefits to investing in digital inclusion for all.

This report, launched by Good Things Foundation, sets out the economic impact of digital skills and inclusion in the UK. The report finds that investment of £1.4 billion could reap economic benefits of £13.7 billion for UK plc. This is £9.48 return for every £1 invested. 

Investment in improving the digital skills of those who are digitally excluded in our society will lead to significant benefits for the UK economy. Understanding the scale of these economic benefits should be critical for those making decisions about policy and investment, at a national, regional and local level. This paper sets out the economic case for investing in interventions to help digitally excluded people build their basic digital skills. It is based on analysis by Cebr (Centre for Economics and Business Research), commissioned by Good Things Foundation in partnership with Capita. 

Our findings

The report shows that the UK government could reap huge rewards from digital inclusion for all.

£9.48 Return for every £1 invested

£1.4 billion in efficiency savings for government

£3.5 billion savings for individuals through online shopping

Although significant progress has already been made in reducing the digitally excluded population – with Cebr estimating the number of people without basic digital skills will fall from 12.4 million at the end of 2019 to an estimated 10.6 million by the end of 2022 – there is still more that needs to be done – and Good Things Foundation are calling for action to Fix the Digital Divide – for Good. 

"Digital skills are essential for most of us in our everyday lives - and the Covid 19 pandemic has significantly changed the way we all live and work. However, the less familiar story of the pandemic is that although digital exclusion has reduced overall, the divide itself has worsened, with the most vulnerable lagging further behind.

Digital inclusion remains an urgent issue in the UK. It is crucial for the UK’s economic success, and for the Government’s ambitions to level up. We have to act now to not only realise these significant savings, but to ensure that individuals can feel these benefits too."

Helen Milner

“This report shows that investing in digital inclusion creates economic opportunities that benefit both citizens and communities. We are proud to be working with the Good Things Foundation to close the digital divide, build a more inclusive society and help the UK Government level up towns and cities across the country.”

Paul Abraham, Managing Director and Client Partner for Capita’s Local Public Service division

With thanks to

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Capita