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All working Brits to get online before end of current Parliament

Martha Lane-Fox details proposals in Networked Nation manifesto

UK Digital Champion Martha Lane-Fox wants to ensure all of the UK’s working population is online by the end of the current parliament.

The proposal is just one of a number of measures set-out by Lane-Fox, founder of the travel website lastminute.com, in the Networked Nation manifesto, which will be presented to Prime Minister David Cameron today.

According to the manifesto the web empowers the unemployed, with more than 90 percent of all new jobs requiring basic internet skills, as well as preventing social isolation by allowing contact with friends and family that do not live close by and even improving exam results.

However, 10 million Brits have yet to experience the benefits of the web. As well as ensuring all working Brits are online, Lane-Fox says no-one should retire without web skills either.

 "Networked Nation is a rallying cry for the 40 million internet users in the UK to help 10 million people who have yet to enjoy the huge benefits of the web that the vast majority of us enjoy every day," Lane-Fox said.

 "By getting more people online, everyone wins. Businesses are competing for more online customers. Government needs to deliver better for less. Charities want to support the people they serve better. So we are calling on them to work together and tackle the unfairness and lost opportunities caused by digital exclusion, and deliver positive social change."

Lane-Fox also wants " local digital champions" to be appointed in every council, public library and Jobcentre Plus office by the end of 2010, in a bid to help get unconnected Brits online.

Those interested in volunteering, donating money or equipment, or even contributing their own ideas, can sign-up via the Race Online 2012 website.

However, the manifesto does not reveal how the proposals in the manifesto will be funded, which could cause an issue as the current government has pledged to reduce public spending to ensure the economic state of the country improves.

PM David Cameron said: "I'm delighted to have Martha Lane-Fox on board to help drive forward this important agenda."

"In the internet age, we need to ensure that people aren't being left behind as more and more services and business move online. But this issue isn't just about fairness - as Martha's work shows, promoting digital inclusion is essential for a dynamic modern economy and can help to make government more efficient and effective."

See also: One in five Brits never been online


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