Slipping through the Net
New independent research from The Prince’s Trust supported by Samsung and carried out by The London School of Economics and Political Science, highlights that the most disadvantaged young people in Britain are getting digitally left behind.
Our Slipping Through The Net report reveals a clear distrust by Britain’s most disadvantaged young people of online interactions, which is a major obstacle in harnessing the digital world to improve their situation.
Many disadvantaged young people are not achieving positive outcomes online, in particular when it comes to education and employment.
- While 53% of the UK’s disadvantaged young people believe that information found on the internet is “generally reliable”, 50% say that no one or almost no one could be trusted online.
- While these young people were positive towards the potential benefits of ICTs (Information Communication Technology), they often ran into frustrations, from what they perceived as dehumanising experiences.
- Disadvantaged young people are using ICTs more to engage in employment related activities, yet they were less likely than their peers to succeed, even partially, through this medium (46% compared to 65% of their employed peers).
- Disadvantaged young people are also being held back in the digital world by their lack of softer social skills. Around 40% of them struggled with “netiquette”, that is decisions about their own behaviour or dealing with the negative behaviour of others online.
The research shows that opportunities provided online are not equally attained by all young people, in particular those who are not in education, employment or training. Unfortunately, these young people who have already run into frustrating experiences offline are being left further behind in the online world.
However, with the right support, these young people can get the most out of their digital experience and go on to achieve great things.