The future of tech must be inclusive and diverse for everyone to benefit.

We’re building inclusive connections, digital skills and a diverse BT.

The future is here­, and it’s digital. But not everyone is getting the benefits that tech can offer. Around 2.6 million people in the UK remain almost completely offline and nearly 11 million lack basic digital skills.

To unlock the transformative power of technology, it needs to be available and accessible to everyone. But it’s skills and training that help people make the most of tech.

We’ve helped more than 14 million people improve their digital skills and we’re aiming for 25 million by 2026.1 Over the last year, we’ve supported struggling small businesses through the pandemic, helped jobseekers get ready for work, tackled online hate and empowered children to stay safe and be kind online.

1By the end of March 2026.

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people reached with help to improve digital skills since 2014/15

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small business owners and employees reached with digital skills support this year

Upskilling the nation

We’ve reached a further 4.6 million people with help to improve their digital skills this year – from small businesses and jobseekers to kids getting their first mobile phone. 

We’ve reached 14.7 million people with digital skills support since 2014/15.
We’re aiming to reach 25m by 2026.

  • We’re helping jobseekers develop the skills they need to succeed in a digital economy. We reached over 33,000 people through our Work Ready virtual training sessions this year and ran a summer jobseekers campaign on how to gain confidence when applying for jobs.

    Through BT Accelerate Digital FastFutures, we partnered with Avado, to offer a 12-week digital business skills and mentoring programme that empowers 18 to 24-year-olds from diverse backgrounds. BT colleagues have mentored over 1,000 of the 2,800 young jobseekers who have completed the programme since it began in 2020.

    BT Accelerate Digital FastFutures is one of the programmes supporting our digital talent movement.

  • When a young person gets their first mobile phone, they’re entering a world full of opportunity. But there are also hazards they need to understand and avoid – from cyberbullying to fake news.

    That’s why we’ve created the UK’s first phone licence, to help prepare kids for life online. EE’s PhoneSmart Licence is a fun and educational online resource to help young people learn how to stay safe and be kind online. The one-hour course guides children through a series of interactive stories and quizzes on topics like cyberbullying and fake news to earn their PhoneSmart Licence.

    To mark Safer Internet Day, we launched a new learning video with the help of celebrity mum  Myleene Klass, that gives parents and guardians advice on how to navigate streaming and help their children stay in control of what they share online.

  • One in ten British people have received online abuse in the past year.2 That’s why we’ve formed Hope United – a diverse team of top footballers from all four home nations who are driven by their own experience of online hate.

1 By end of March 2026.
2 YouGov survey of 4,753 people in Great Britain commissioned by BT.

Supporting small businesses to go digital

Businesses across the UK have had to move online as they adapt to Covid-19 challenges. But many small businesses need support to improve their digital skills.

We aim to upskill 1 million small businesses and their employees by 2026 through our digital skills programmes1 with partners like Google and Small Business Britain. We’ve already reached more than 550,000.

Leaving no business behind

This year, we continued to support small businesses in building stronger digital foundations. We launched a Digital Marketing Hub, gifted digital advertising space on our new Street Hubs and pressed forward with our partnerships to boost digital skills.

We’ve reached a further 2,200 small businesses and their employees with digital skills support through mentoring and 46,200 through webinars this year. Webinar topics ranged from digital marketing and e-commerce to social media and business strategy.

Get Mentored, Get Growing, our new campaign with Google, offered free, one-to-one mentoring sessions to help small businesses harness digital skills as a driver for growth. Our Let’s Talk About series continued with short videos on YouTube and LinkedIn Live and offered practical tips presented by successful entrepreneurs.

 

1 By end of March 2026.

Championing digital inclusion

We’re working towards an inclusive digital future for the UK by making our networks and tech available, affordable and accessible to everyone. 

More than one in five British adults say unexpected life changes during the pandemic mean they now need additional support.

 

Fewer than half are comfortable sharing their problems with others – and would be unlikely to tell their mobile or broadband provider they may need help. But four in ten said they would feel more comfortable asking for help from their supplier if they knew that specific support was in place.

 

Our Here for You website brings together BT’s wide range of products, services and support for those who need extra help in one easy-to-navigate place. It includes information about the Home Essentials social tariff, the latest accessibility options and priority services for customers with long-term illnesses or disabilities, and advice for dealing with scams.

Making our products affordable and accessible

Better broadband connections can open up opportunities in education, employment and social inclusion – and transform access to healthcare and vital local services.

We want to help as many people as we can access these opportunities – including helping more low-income households get online.

Our Customer Inclusion Panel, which includes experts from Age UK, Mind and RNIB, helps us make our products and services as accessible as possible for vulnerable customers or those with additional needs. 

Investing in our networks

We aim to reach 25 million premises by 20261, which includes our commitment to build to 6.2 million homes and businesses in hard-to-reach rural communities so they can benefit from our next generation network.

We’ve extended 5G coverage to half the UK population, and we’ve committed to reach 90% of the country by 2028.

By end of March 2026.

Partnering with charities on digital skills

We extend our support for digital skills through our work with charities in the UK and beyond.

This year, colleagues voted for Home-Start UK as our new UK charity partner. Together, we’re working to tackle the digital divide affecting the UK’s most vulnerable people by helping families improve their digital skills.

In India, our partnership with the British Asian Trust has helped bring skills and education to over 738,000 young people across the country. Together, we’ve worked with nearly 1.5 million community stakeholders to reduce socio-cultural barriers for adolescent girls. We’ve also reached over 35 million people in India through programmes that provide skills training videos on TV and online.

We’ve continued to work with UNICEF to support digital skills development around the world. We’ve supported the Digital Learning Passport – a tech platform which enables online and offline access to quality educational resources for schoolchildren – which now has around 2 million users in over 20 countries and was named one of the best inventions of 2021 by Time Magazine. 

Our dedicated colleagues across the business support our charity partnerships through volunteering and fundraising.

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young people across India helped with skills and education

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users of the Digital Learning Passport in over 20 countries