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Our partnership with Digital Unite

The need

In the UK, there are 11 million adults who lack the digital skills needed for everyday life, such as accessing the internet. Among working adults, around 11.8 million people lack the digital skills needed for work (Lloyds Essential Digital Skills Report 2021).

Our response

We want technology to be an opportunity for everyone. As more services such as healthcare, housing, banking, shopping and education shift online, it is critical that we help ensure people can access these. We aim to inspire those at risk of being left behind, helping them build the digital skills needed for life and work by partnering with Digital Unite.

Digital Unite, a social enterprise, supports organisations such as housing providers, councils, health organisations and charities to create networks of Digital Champions, who share digital skills directly with their communities. By embedding Champions within communities, people can more easily access regular support and have a more personal connection with those teaching them digital skills.

Capgemini announced our partnership with Digital Unite in March 2020. Together, we have developed a new model for corporate support of digital skills training in the UK. Digital skills training used to be typically led by charities and non-profits, but during the Covid-19 pandemic, we recognised an increased reliance on friends and family for technology assistance while libraries and community support centres were closed. We looked to our employee volunteers to help create a model to meet this new need. The resulting Inspire training programme assists Capgemini employees to become Digital Champions – and the programme is a blueprint that any business could follow. We developed the model, piloted it from August 2020, and rolled out Inspire across Capgemini UK from January 2021.

Inspire trains employees on how to teach digital skills. Capgemini employees, for example, have advanced technology skills but can lack knowledge and confidence on how best to share these with their families, friends and local communities. To change this, employees attend a ‘Digi Day’ session to learn about digital exclusion, complete training on how to share skills via an e-learning module, and are encouraged to make a pledge to help others.

We’re now exploring how Capgemini Digital Champions can support Digital Unite’s own Champions from non-technology backgrounds. In 2022, Capgemini volunteers are supporting a series of sessions that share how to teach the foundational digital skills needed for work, such as how to use MS Teams. Capgemini is also embedding the Inspire programme into our client services, offering clients the opportunity to build social value into projects by engaging with the local community to increase digital literacy.

Our impact

Digital Unite now offers the Inspire employee engagement programme to other businesses, which will help accelerate growth of its Digital Champions networks. As of end 2021, Digital Unite’s network included 4,000 Champions.

Between August 2020 and May 2022, more than 780 Capgemini UK employees had completed at least one Inspire learning topic, with over 430 employees making a pledge to help improve digital skills in their communities.

Examples of employee pledges

“I helped my friend by giving him the confidence and knowledge to advertise his construction business online as the pandemic affected his work.”

– Szilard assisted his friend’s business

“My new school started sending all this online stuff to me, it all felt a bit much. Auntie Sam taught me how to join online classes, how to email the teachers and manage passwords.”

– Sam supported her niece to learn online

“I set up my father on an iPad as he wanted to have more contact with family and to be able to book online appointments at his doctors. Both my parents can now make video calls.”

– Denis helped his Dad stay connected

Learn more