EE to boost digital skills of 1 million Britons by 2015

Mobile operator sets out corporate social responsibilities in new report.

Skills gap

EE has tasked itself with helping one million Britons improve their digital skills by 2015.

The mobile operator made the pledge in its first corporate responsibility report, where it promised to do its bit to help close the digital divide by skilling up some of the six million British adults it claims lack basic online skills.

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"Digital exclusion is a massive social and economic issue that leaves people at risk of being left out of modern society," said the EE report.

To achieve its goal, the company has become a founding partner of the Go ON UK charity, which aims to establish the UK as the world's most digitally capable nation, and has embarked on a community outreach programme.

The latter will be spearheaded by EE's troop of Digital Champions. These individuals will be specially trained members of the firm's workforce who will be responsible for leading community-based learning sessions that encourage them to get online.

The company trained 35 of its staff to be Digital Champions last year, and plans to increase this to 300 by the end of 2013.

It has also created resources on the EE web site to advise visitors on internet safety and how they can help motivate their friends and family to get online.

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"We're really proud of what we've achieved in 2012, but we know we're just scratching the surface of the difference we can make," the document stated.

In addition to this, the company has vowed to take on 500 apprentices across its business by 2015, and has launched a Fast Track programme that allows high performing frontline employees to work in different parts of the business.

It has also made a commitment to reducing its carbon emissions and waste to landfill by 50 per cent with the help of its three-year network optimisation programme.

"EE is continuing the integration of the T-Mobile and Orange networks, resulting in significant reductions in energy use, estimated at 79,000 tonnes of CO2, or 150,000 Mwh across the three years," said the company in a statement.

"The company is also delivering a number of other activities, including installing more efficient network equipment and improving recycling facilities."

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