Elderly resident being taught to use a computer

Dorset Council recruiting 1,000 digital champions to improve online access

Dorset Council is seeking to recruit and train 1,000 frontline ‘digital champions’ by 2023 to support excluded residents to get online.

With many local authority and wider public services increasingly shifting to online, the Dorset local authority has recognised the need to connect its more digitally disadvantaged residents.

The council is recruiting the new workers as part of the council’s ‘Embedded Digital Champion’ programme.

The council-ran training course will be open to any organisation in Dorset which works directly with residents.

It is estimated that once trained, each embedded digital champion could help up to eight users a week with a digital-related enquiry.

Across the full 1,000-strong workforce Dorset Council is aiming for, that could see up to 400,000 digital enquiries, from some of the local authorities most digitally excluded residents, solved each year.

Recent data showed that 11% of Dorset’s residents are completely isolated from the digital world, while a further 20% lack the digital skills needed to make the most of these new online services.

Cllr Jill Haynes, Portfolio Holder for Corporate Development and Transformation at Dorset Council, said: “Whether it’s booking your doctor’s appointment or filling in an application form, so many things can now be done quickly and easily at a click of a few buttons or the touching of a screen.

But although it’s easy and convenient for most of us, what we need to remember is there are some people who do not feel confident doing things online – and that’s where the embedded digital champions come in.

“Embedded digital champions will be able to assist customers there and then or, if needed, refer them on for extra support and advice.”

Cost of living crisis

PSE Jan/Dec 22

Cost of living crisis

Our December/January 2022 edition of PSE brings you expert comment and analysis on a range of key public sector topics, from levelling up to decarbonisation and the funding crisis. Learn how we can protect our public services, or read Cllr David Renard's discussion on how Local and central government are working together to support local needs, alongside so much more…


View all videos
#PSE365: Public Sector Levelling up

Be A Part Of It!

PSE365: Public SectorLevelling up Virtual Event | 17 Nov 2022

PSE has created a full calendar of events to address the most important issues that influence the delivery of public sector services. 

Over 365 days you’ll have the opportunity to hear from a range of highly motivating, informative and inspirational speakers. These speakers will equip you with knowledge and unique insight to enable you to overcome the challenges that you face.

Upcoming Webinar

Webinar: Driving sustainability & value through technology end-of-life

End-of-life is often overlooked yet is equally as important to a digital strategy, but what happens to end-of-life technology? What is the impact on the environment, net zero targets? What is the financial impact, is value for money for the taxpayer simply discarded and destroyed along with the technology?

Join us on 13 September between 2:00pm-2:45pm where we look to address the lifecycle of a digital strategy with a focus on end-of-life using examples, achieving efficiency, increased sustainability and delivering cost savings.

Guest Panellists:

Adam Turner, Head of Government and Public Sector Sustainable ICT and Digital, DEFRA
Ben Levin, Senior Manager, Technology Assesment and Criteria Development, Global Electronics Council
Fredrik Forslund, Vice President, Enterprise & Cloud Erasure Solutions, Blancco
Ben Tongue, Digital Net Zero Lead, NHS England

More articles...

View all