One Digital response to Essential Digital Skills Framework update

Published by Sarah Cant on

Sarah Cant, Programme Director for One Digital, comments, “The One Digital partnership welcomes the update of the Essential Digital Skills Framework. As technology evolves and more services are becoming ‘digital by default’, it is important that everyone knows what skills they need to take part in today’s digitally-driven society, and what opportunities are available to develop those skills.

“Millions of people in the UK lack essential digital skills, and cannot benefit from getting online to stay in touch with loved ones, find a job or save money. Having a collective digital skills framework will help everyone understand what basic skills are needed for people to benefit from digital technology and the internet. It is important that the framework continues to be championed and used by all organisations, across the UK, who support people to build their digital skills, whether from informal day-to-day support or formal qualifications.”


About One Digital

One Digital is a collaboration of five distinct organisations (Age UK, Citizens Online, Clarion Futures (Clarion Housing Group’s charitable foundation), Digital Unite and the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations) working together toward a shared aim of helping people of all ages to access the benefits of digital technology.

Since the launch of the first phase in January 2016, the programme has successfully helped more than 11,000 people across the UK to get online, with many people saying the confidence and skills they gained had been ‘life changing’, from support for job hunting to social engagement. Additionally, over 1,000 Digital Champions have been recruited and trained, providing personal support to those seeking to get online, which has in turn improved their own confidence and digital expertise through helping others.

The Big Lottery Fund has since awarded One Digital further funding over three years to scale up proven approaches, transform digital skills delivery and ensure sustainability. One Digital now aims to reach 40,000 people through 4,000 Digital Champions, improving the digital skills of those most in need. Learning outcomes from the project’s’ Community of Practice will be made available to support good practice in digital inclusion.


The One Digital Partners

Age UK

Age UK believes that everyone should have the opportunity to make the most of later life, whatever their circumstances.

One Digital Phase 2 will see multiple partners across regions transforming digital skills delivery for older people in areas with high digital exclusion. Delivered by local Age UK’s, older people will be supported to learn how digital skills can benefit them, for example by enabling them to keep in contact with loved ones, make savings by shopping online and pursue hobbies.

Citizens Online

Citizens Online is a UK charity committed to researching, addressing and promoting the issues of digital inclusion. In collaboration with a wide range of partners, Citizens Online has been specialising in digital inclusion, skills and service transformation since 2000.

For One Digital they will embed One Digital and its Digital Champion model by using their flagship Switch approach. Switch is based on years of delivery experience and research and helps organisations increase uptake of their digital service transformation. Switch is a programme of evidence gathering, action planning and partnership development.

Citizens Online will use Switch to support the development of a long-term, scalable approach through action planning and partnership development across 20 locations. There is up to 50% match funding available from the Big Lottery Fund to support these 20 projects. Phase 2 will also enable a ‘deep dive’ in two locations, Brighton and Hove and Gwynedd (in the Welsh language), showing transformation in action.

Clarion Futures

Clarion Futures is part of Clarion Housing Group and is a registered charitable foundation. We will invest £150 million over ten years to deliver one of the largest social investment programmes in the country. Our mission is to provide social housing residents with the support, skills and opportunities to transform their lives and communities for the better.

Digital Unite

Digital Unite is one of the UK’s leading providers of digital skills learning and the only organisation that focuses exclusively on vocational training and support for Digital Champions.

For One Digital, Digital Unite will continue to facilitate the Digital Champion infrastructure for each partner project using their existing online train-the-trainer platform, the Digital Champions Network. With their evidence base and a learner-led co-design process, they will be using new technologies and teaching approaches to radically extend the Network’s support. Digital Unite is also supporting individuals and organisations from a wide variety of sectors with establishing their own local Digital Champion movements underpinned by the Network’s products and services.


The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is the membership organisation for Scotland’s charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises. A dedicated team is working across public, private and third sectors in Scotland to increase digital participation.

Their One Digital project will transform the Scottish third sector to become more digitally confident and capable. By creating a meaningful intervention at leadership, organisation and individual levels they will propel the third sector to the centre of the digital revolution.

One Digital is a UK wide partnership which promotes the use of Digital Champions to support people to learn digital skills. For organisations interested in setting up their own digital inclusion project we have developed a free Knowledge Hub of useful information and resources.