Every adult lacking basic computer skills to be given training to lift them from 'digital darkness'

Around 5.3 million Britons have never used the internet according to the Office for National Statistics.

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Adults who lack basic computer skills will be eligible for free training to help take them out of the “digital darkness”, under plans announced by the Government. Culture Secretary Karen Bradley said the measure would put digital literacy on the same footing as English and maths.

Around 5.3 million Britons have never used the internet, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Ms Bradley said: “In today's digital economy, being able to use modern technology and navigate the internet should be considered as important as English and maths. But too many people struggle to get by, with more than 10 million adults in England lacking the basic digital skills they need.

“We will make sure all adults who need it can receive free training in digital skills to equip them for the modern world – helping to make sure our economy and society work for everyone.”

Under the plans, publicly funded basic digital skills training will be offered free of charge to adults in England who need it, mirroring the current situation for English and maths. The proposals, to be consulted on, will see courses delivered by colleges and other adult education providers and training will be funded from the existing Adult Education Budget.

The reforms will be introduced through an amendment to the Digital Economy Bill, currently going through Parliament.