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

Helping you make the most of life

The future is here, and it’s digital. But not everyone is getting the benefits that tech can offer. Around 13 million people1 in the UK 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.

BT Group's digital skills programme is free and designed to help people across the UK – from young people to older and digitally excluded people, to help boost their confidence and understanding of digital tools and technology to make daily life better, and realise their long-term ambitions.

Building on our digital skills resources and partnerships, we've reached a total of 23 million people with digital skills support since FY15. And we're aiming to help 25 million by end-March 2026.

12023 UK Consumer Digital Index

Creating an inclusive digital world

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people reached with help to improve digital skills since FY15

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small businesses and their employees upskilled through our digital skills programmes since FY15

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homes and businesses reached with full fibre

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We’ve set bold ambitions to build a diverse and inclusive BT Group

Championing digital inclusion

Embracing inclusion, equity and diversity is core to our people strategy and key to our growth. We want to be champions for digital inclusion too: by tackling the digital divide and enabling everyone to be more confident and independent online, we can create a diverse and inclusive digital society that works for all.

We want to support families worst hit by the cost of living crisis. We’re the market leader in social tariffs, currently helping around one million low-income and vulnerable customers through affordable fibre broadband and calls.

Our Home Essentials social tariff gives discounted broadband to customers on Universal Credit. Our EE Basics does similar for eligible mobile customers. Openreach’s ‘Connect the Unconnected’ scheme waives connection fees for vulnerable customers, via their communications provider.  

Working with our charity partner Home-Start UK, we’re also supporting the most socially excluded households through gift-in-kind contributions, fundraising and donations, which totalled more than £134k this year.

Our digital skills help is giving more people the benefits of being online – particularly vulnerable groups in society, like children and the over 65s. We’ve partnered with UK charity AbilityNet to deliver nationwide training to improve the digital skills of 5,000 people aged 65+, visit our senior skills page to find out more

Here for you

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. 

Senior skills

22% of over 65s still do not use the internet1. We want to change this. We don’t just want to give older people the digital skills and confidence they need though, we want to help inspire and motivate them to unlock the possibilities of being online.

Read how we are helping older and digitally excluded people make the most out of life in a digital world.

1AgeUK, Facts and Figures about digital inclusion and older people, June 2023

Investing in our networks

We’re working to develop the right digital infrastructure so no one gets left behind. Our full fibre broadband already passes 14 million homes and businesses, including 3.9 million in rural locations. We have the UK’s largest and fastest 4G mobile network and we’re rolling out 5G across the country. We’ve committed to reach 90% of the country by 2028.

Skilling the nation

Employability and digital skills for young people

We're bridging the gap between education and employment by making sure children and young people are included in the UK's digital skills agenda. 

Over 1,000 secondary school children from diverse backgrounds came to our ‘Get Work Ready’ days at our UK workplaces this year. The days gave a window into the types of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) roles and skills needed in modern business - linking what they were learning at school to the skills employers look for.

With the national STEM Learning Centre and seven state schools  we helped launch the ENTHUSE programme in Bristol. It supports teachers with essential continuous professional development and industry insights - and with workplace events to inspire students to consider roles in data, digital, engineering, innovation and technology.

We also support the National Cyber Security Centre’s CyberFirst programme. Aiming to encourage school pupils into cyber and tech careers, the programme hosted events for more than 3,000 pupils last year.

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helped through Avado FastFutures programme

Digital talent pipeline

In support of the Government's skills agenda, last year we funded two cohorts of the FastFutures Data Analyst Boot Camp, reaching 500 18-24 year olds from diverse backgrounds looking to kick start their careers in digital. They were supported by 117 of our colleagues who volunteering almost 500 hours of their time to give industry talks, feedback on presentations and mentor the learners.

Supporting small businesses

Our free digital skills programme helps empower small business owners and their employees by providing them with the necessary digital skills to thrive. This year we reached 200,000 more businesses and their employees. We gave them access to free expert-led webinars, online courses and mentoring which help them to thrive in the digital economy. So far, we have supported 1.2 million small businesses to date.

Working with Small Business Britain, the UK's leading champion of small businesses, we run a series of free expert-led webinars on topics such as digital marketing, SEO and Google Search. We also run NetWalks, giving business owners a chance to meet other local businesses to share ideas and experiences and build their support network.

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business and employees reached with digital skills support this year

Child online safety

We’re helping to protect children online through a number of initiatives. This year we:

  • relaunched PhoneSmart with better new functionality to help minimise online harm risks, as more and more youngsters own mobile phones
  • launched GameSmart - featuring online safety information for parents on their child’s use of games and gaming devices
  • ran a campaign with Internet Matters for parents of under-fives on healthy technology use
  • launched an online safety hub on the Internet Matters website.

Tackling online hate

Hope United is part of EE’s ongoing commitment to deliver positive societal change. It features a team of elite professional football players - representing all four home nations - coming together to tackle online hate.

So far, it’s helped educate 10.9m people on being good digital citizens.

During the 2023 Women’s Football World Cup, the ‘Play on’ campaign reached 3.5 million people, encouraging young people not to drop out of sport due to hate. One of the EE Hope United squad also visited 10 Downing Street to support amendments to the Online Safety Bill helping to protect women and girls.

EE Hope United
EE Hope United

Partnering with charities on digital skills

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young people reached in India with digital skills, STEM career guidance and job opportunities

Since 2019, BT India, with our partner the British Asian Trust, has helped around 1.1m young people with digital skills, STEM career guidance and job opportunities.

This year, we launched an Outdoor School for Girls, which will provide digital, life, sustainability and entrepreneurial skills to 180,000 girls over the next three years. With our support, education company Katha is working with the Municipal Corporation of Delhi to teach more than 4,000 girls, through setting up robotics labs, refurbishing IT labs and training teachers.