Government launches research project on digital inclusion
Nearly half of all Belgians have below average internet skills, which has led the minister for the digital agenda to launch a research project on current and future challenges of an increasingly digital society
Below average skills
“The internet is now an integral part of our daily lives,” said researcher Ilse Mariën (pictured) of iMinds-SMIT in a statement. “But we still see that not everyone possesses the necessary digital skills.”
Federal research statistics show that 47% of Belgians have below average internet skills, while a similar percentage of the elderly population has never used the internet. “The digital landscape in Belgium is changing fast; many public services are digitised,” said Gerard Valenduc of FTU Namur. “We have to make sure that everyone is able to use them.”
According to De Croo (Open-VLD), nine in 10 jobs of the near future will require one or more digital skills. “Attention to digital inclusion, therefore, is a priority,” he said.
Researchers will examine the influence of age on e-inclusion and the relationship between the government, which provides the services, and the citizens who use them. On the basis of the results, the IDEALiC team will produce a detailed advisory report. “After four years, we should know what the main problems are and how to solve them,” said Mariën.
completed research projects
2013 research budget in millions of euros