Digital champion Eddie Herbert with Natasha Innocent from Race Online

Internet usage up in Liverpool

The number of people who do not use the internet in Liverpool has been slashed by 40 percent over the last year.

It follows a campaign called ‘Go On it’s Liverpool’ which saw over 1,000 digital champions recruited to encourage people to get online for the first time, including taxi driver Eddie Herbert (pictured with Martha Lane Fox  from Race Online).

The latest official ONS (Office for National Statistics) figures show 43,000 people went online, cutting the number of digitally excluded people by 12 percent – compared to just 1.9 percent nationally.

According to the data -which compares figures from April-June 2011 with April to June 2012 – the number of people who do use the internet in Liverpool rose from 70.8 percent to 82.7 percent.

There are now just 61,000 people, or 17 percent of the population, who have not been online – down from 104,000 from a year ago.

Councillor Nick Small, Liverpool’s Cabinet member for employment, enterprise and skills, said: “Go On it’s Liverpool was hugely successful in getting people online and I am delighted with its success.

“Being computer and internet literate gives people a huge advantage when competing for jobs and is vitally important.

“Using the web is crucial to so many things in modern life and is only going to become more important in the future.”

During the campaign, scores of events were held in libraries, community centres and other venues across the city to raise awareness and show the benefits of using the internet.

Employers were also encouraged to get computer literate staff to take part – and the initiative was backed by Unionlearn, the TUC scheme which encourages members to improve their skills.