Argos will provide 10,000 UK adults with free tablets and a year’s worth of free broadband to encourage those lacking digital skills to use the internet.
The retailer has partnered with digital skills charity Go ON UK to provide workshops to the 20% of adults in the UK who still lack online and digital knowledge.
John Walden, chief executive of Argos parent Home Retail Group, said that with the internet becoming an essential part of day-to-day living, those without the necessary skills are being left behind.
“The digital revolution continues apace, yet millions remain on the sidelines,” he said. “Argos Internet Workshops have been developed to help people overcome the barriers of access and affordability, and improve their knowledge, understanding and confidence in digital technology.”
Research by Ofcom found that 52% of UK adults not yet online are over the age of 65. But figures also showed that adoption of internet-enabled tablets in the 65-74 age band has trebled over the past year and tablet ownership in the UK increased by 20% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2014.
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Argos workshops will use the free tablet and 12-month subscription to TalkTalk broadband to teach participants how to use the internet to surf, email and stay safe online.
Baroness Lane-Fox, chair of digital skills charity Go ON UK, said: “Access, affordability and skills have all been cited as key barriers to bringing people online. This fantastic initiative from Argos is exactly the type of programme we need to help people become more confident with technology.”
Earlier this year, BT set up a project calling on young people to teach adults with no computing skills how to use the internet as children display a higher aptitude for technology than adults.