The three divides: The digital divide and its relation to basic skills and employment in Portland, USA and London, England

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The context of this comparative study was the rising importance of digital competence and access to computers as part of contemporary employability. In turn the ʻdigitalʼ skills also connect with the basic skills of literacy and numeracy. There are consequently ʻdividesʼ between the ʻhavesʼ and the ʻhave notsʼ in relation to digital skills, basic skills and employment. Recent studies have consistently shown that individuals who have ʻdigitalʼ accessʼ have had more education and higher status occupations. Absence of those attributes, including digital competence increases the chances of social exclusion. The World Internet Project (WIP)1 reports this divide within nations as well as cross-nationally. This study set out to investigate these divides in a North American and British context.

Bynner, J. (2008) The digital divide: computer use, basic skills and employment: a comparative study in Portland, USA and London, England. Research summary. NRDC: London