The City & Guilds Foundation is acutely aware of the challenges facing learners at all levels across the UK, including the many learners who receive support from our charitable partners or directly through the Foundation’s bursary programme.
We applaud efforts being made by the UK Government and charities across the country to make the hardware necessary for online learning available to those in need, this support must continue to be rolled out with utmost urgency if we are to limit the impact of the pandemic on the estimated 1.14 million-1.78 million children in the UK (9%) who do not have home access to a laptop, desktop or tablet to learn.
We would also like to thank the telecoms providers who have already pledged their support to help remove the data barriers facing many young people through voucher schemes and the exploration of making some free online learning sites available without data charges. This will be critical if 880,000 children who only have access to mobile internet connections are to be able to access the growing wealth of online resources available.
The City & Guilds Foundation has a critical role to play and we will be making every effort over the coming weeks to ensure that the beneficiaries we support are not limited by lack of access to technology and that we remain in active dialogue with our network of charitable partners and youth advisory board to ensure they receive the support they need.
We will also be sharing a list of free online resources across our networks. If you are the owner of free e-learning materials and would like us to include them in our resources centre, please get in touch.
For further information about existing provision available to trusts, local authorities, schools who wish to support a young person to access laptops, tablets or mobile data to support their learning please visit: https://get-help-with-tech.education.gov.uk/about-increasing-mobile-data