Digital skills accessible for everyone
On December 20th 2017 Easybrussels and the team in charge of the Digital Public Space (DPS) at Saint-Gilles met the RTBF (the Belgian French speaking community’s public broadcasting organization) to report on digital inclusion in the Brussels-Capital Region. This DPS known under the name “Atelier du web” welcomed in 2017 about 9500 visitors who wanted to dive in the digital dimension : children, senior citizens, job-seekers, students, self-employed,… They can all be accompanied and trained in order to overcome the digital divide since figures for the Brussels Region are striking: 11% of Brussels’ citizens have never been on the web and 15% of the households don’t have any internet connection.
Keeping administrative simplification in mind and in order to respond to the increasing number of requests from citizens, the public services of the Brussels Region are now providing more and more of their services online. The virtual counter gives the citizens the opportunity to connect to their administrations or to accomplish administrative procedures, when they want, without having to move at all.
Because not everyone is familiar with these technologies yet, it is essential to support the sector of the DPS. These structures know how to accompany the ones who need a little help to get onto the digital train. The number of visitors has taken off in the last couple of years. For the “Atelier du web” alone, 1630 persons were registered, which shows an increase of 17% compared to 2016.
Cathy Marcus, director of Easybrussels emphasizes that the DPS’s were set up in a period where the digital dimension wasn’t as global as today. Nowadays, the sector has to fulfill other needs. That’s why an adapted and structured support is crucial. « This way, we can efficiently reduce the administrative burden that citizens are confronted to and increase their daily comfort.”