More than half struggle to use smart home devices (53%) and a fifth struggle with everyday devices including smartphones (17%) and apps (21%)

Three quarters (73%) would like support to improve tech skills

Post Office Broadband joins forces with Google Digital Garage to launch Digital Drop-ins across the country to help close skills gap and boost the nation’s digital confidence

As many as one in five people (20%)1 do not feel digitally confident – rising to one in two when using modern digital devices, including home assistants (46%) and smart watches (50%), according to research commissioned by Post Office Broadband.

Overall, a fifth lack confidence using everyday devices such as a smartphone (17%) or apps (21%), while as many as 53% struggle with smart home devices and 31% with smart TVs. Even 16% of 18-24 year olds lack assurance with technology – 22% are not confident with smart TVs, 33% with a smart watch, and 27% with a smart music device. Unsurprisingly, older generations struggle the most (39% of over 65s don’t feel confident using a smartphone, 44% using apps, 48% using a smart TV, 71% using a home assistance device and 78% using a smart watch).

Post Office Broadband has partnered with Google’s Digital Garage programme and a number of UK libraries in order to give people a comfortable space where they can ask any questions and learn how they can get the most from the internet and their internet enabled devices.

The rate at which the technology we use develops is a cause for concern for many. A third (32%) admit to being uncomfortable with the pace at which everyday technology is changing – a figure that steadily increases with age:

Crisis of confidence

Those who don’t feel assured using technology attribute it to a knowledge gap. Over two-fifths (44%) say they’ve never been taught how to use their devices, a third (34%) don’t fully understand the features on their devices, and 29% don’t know how to set them up. Furthermore, 22% think their devices are too complicated, while 18% worry about the consequences of doing something wrong.

Meredith Sharples, Director, Post Office Broadband comments: “Advancements in technology have enhanced our lives in so many ways, yet it’s likely many of us will have found the pace of all this change daunting at one time or another.

“Our research shows that this is a shared concern for so many, across all ages, regions and walks of life, and 73% want to upskill and boost their digital confidence.”

Ronan Harris, Google UK & Ireland Managing Director, said:
 “In the digital age, a basic understanding of how the online world works is useful and when it comes to business, it’s essential. We are delighted to partner with the Post Office and ensure everyone has access to free digital skills workshops and 1:1 coaching. We hope you’ll pop in and get the skills you need to you need to grow your confidence, career or business.”

The Post Office and Google Digital Garage Drop-Ins will get underway in the cities that were revealed to be the least digitally confident; Plymouth (31%), Cardiff (28%), Leeds (27%), Norwich (25%) and Belfast (25%) and Southampton (23%). Workshops will be held as 121 sessions and group workshops, and will cover topics such as ‘Device Advice’, ‘Staying Safe Online’ and ‘Getting Started online.’ They will be free and open to anyone who wants to take part to grow their confidence online.

For more information or to register your interest in attending a Post Office and Google Digital Garage Drop-in visit: call (0800 068 1791).