Virgin Media O2: Lack of digital skills costs UK workers £5.69 billion and the economy £12.8 billion

Megan Robinson
October 18, 2022

Brits say that a lack of digital skills have prevented them from scheduling medical appointments, earning pay raises, getting high-paying jobs, or finding deals to save money

A recent research by Virgin Media O2, revealed that over five million Brits are unable to wrap their heads around simple online tasks like sending an email or using the internet, thus costing UK workers £5.69 billion and the economy £12.8 billion, due to lack of digital skills.

The research showed that a quarter of those in the lowest income pay bracket (less than £12,570 p/a) believe their skills would not be sufficient to secure them a similar paid role if they were laid off.

Similarly, 21 per cent of Brits say they need digital skills to get a higher paying job and nearly 31pc feel they have missed a promotion or pay rise because of their lack of digital skills.

Additionally, 44pc of respondents say the ability to care for their mental health and personal wellness is negatively impacted by their lack of digital abilities, such as being unable to schedule online medical appointments or submit benefit applications.

Nearly a third of Brits (32pc) say they need digital skills so they can find best deals online to save money, amidst the rising concern over the cost of living.

Get Online Week

In response to this research, Virgin Media O2 and digital inclusion charity, Good Things Foundation, have organised ‘Get Online Week‘, (17-23 October) a week long event to help people improve their digital skills.

The sessions will teach basic skills like how to use the internet to carry out essential tasks such as emailing, accessing online services including booking medical appointments, managing their money online, applying for jobs and many more.

Nicola Green from Virgin Media O2 said: “With the cost- of-living crisis deepening and Brits facing rising bills, it’s more important than ever that people can gain vital digital skills, so they can apply for better paid jobs and increase their incomes, while boosting the UK’s economy by almost £13 billion.”

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