Nantes fights the digital divide with free learning vouchers
In France, 38% of users lack at least one basic digital skill
- 26 september 2020 20:00
- Aseniya Dimitrova
Starting November, Nantes will be experimenting with a new approach for tackling the digital divide, local authorities announced on Monday. In order to help vulnerable citizens gain some basic skills and knowledge on the fundamentals of computers and the Internet, the French metropolis will be distributing 2,000 free training vouchers. The move is aimed at reducing local inequalities.
Encouraging the acquisition of digital skills
The action taken against the digital divide in Nantes will be implemented together with Loire-Atlantique Department and will make 2,000 chequebooks with passes for learning about computers and the Internet available to associations in the area. Each chequebook contains 5 passes worth 10 euros each.
People with a lack of digital abilities can start claiming them from November for a period of one year at selected locations. The vouchers can be used to pay for various services, including lessons on how to configure a mailbox, install a printer, write a CV or fill in administrative papers at participating establishments, active in the field of technology education.
“In Nantes, we have been making progress for a long time with this ambition and this requirement: the digital transition must not be the source of new divisions and new inequalities”, explained Mayor of Nantes Johanna Rolland, at the inauguration of Nantes Digital Week. She also informed that the feasibility of a solidarity internet connection was being explored with social landlords.
According to a survey by the National Statistics Institute Insee from October 2019, nearly 15% of French people over 15 do not use the web and 38% of users lack at least one basic digital skill: information research, communication, problem-solving, the use of software.
This divide can be explained by various factors, such as income and social background, age, lack of equipment, among others. Digital exclusion can seriously hamper the perspectives for professional and personal achievement, in a world where the internet and technology are becoming more important than ever. It is also closely related to social vulnerability.
That is why Nantes is making conscientious efforts to fight it, the latest among which is the vouchers experiment. Recently, Nantes opened a free digital space accessible to all. Digital workshops are also regularly organized in the local media libraries of the Cité des Ducs.
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