The digital world has evolved exponentially and digital technology continues to provide huge benefits to citizens across all the British-Irish Council (BIC) Member Administrations. These range from making access to government services easier, quicker and cheaper to administer, to applying for jobs and booking your own travel. The opportunities are limitless.
In addition, some of the challenges have evolved with time, such as ensuring individuals can confidently and safely go online, and removing the barriers which prevent people taking their first step online, including issues of accessibility, digital skills, and motivation.
At the twelfth BIC Summit in Cardiff in February 2009, the Council agreed that the Isle of Man Government should take the lead on the Digital Inclusion work sector.
In 2017, Ministers discussed and reviewed a paper, ‘Digital Inclusion: Developing Digital Skills’, prepared by the work sector: Digital Inclusion: Developing Digital Skills
Ministers agreed that the key themes of ‘People, Partnership and Policies’ should continue to inform the work of the Digital Inclusion work sector. In particular, the group would focus on collaboration on digital skills and consider how best to engage with large organisations on a cross jurisdictional basis.
The work sector have also looked at the issues of digital safety, particularly in respect of young people online and the 5Rights campaign. All of the eight BIC administrations attended a 5Rights event in Scotland, bringing young people together from across the jurisdictions to discuss their digital rights: https://www.youtube.com/edit?video_id=3GLz5aLZTcQ&video_referrer=watch
The BIC Digital Inclusion work sector focuses on cooperation between Member Administrations by sharing experiences and policies. They also work together on practical outcomes that aim to increase awareness of common areas of understanding and practice in all BIC jurisdictions.
The Digital Inclusion work sector has been actively sharing knowledge, research and practice across these islands on such topics as:
- Intergenerational working
- Young people and future skills
- People, partnerships and policies
Further information may be obtained from each administration. The following is not exhaustive but may prove useful for further reading:
8. Isle of Man