Building digital skills across target groups will be critical in the coming years to bridge the digital divide and avoid new forms of digital exclusion. Telia aims to reach one million individuals through digital inclusion initiatives by 2025. At the end of 2021, we had reached 608,000 individuals in various target groups, primarily children, parents, and seniors.
Examples of our digital inclusion initiatives include:
Making digital lives safer for families
Mobile Driving License
In 2021 Telia Sweden launched a mobile driving license for children together with child rights organization Friends. The driving license aims to facilitate conversations about mobile phone use and online life and provide a safe and secure start for youngsters who want to explore digital life. The mobile driving license is intended for children aged 6-9 and their parents and is offered to family customers across Sweden.
Digital Parenting Package
Telia Finland’s collaboration with Save the Children resulted in the launch of a digital parenting package during 2021, which more than 11,000 parents used. The package guides family customers to support their children in their online lives.
Growing Up On The Internet
Telia’s initiative “Augu Internete” (Growing Up On The Internet) has been running for five years in Lithuania. To date, workshops on topics like internet safety have been attended by 90,000 school children.
In Estonia, Telia’s initiative, in collaboration with the Estonian Union of Child Welfare, “Suurim Julgus” (Greatest Courage) against cyber-bullying, aims to help solve the problem. The initiative has received widespread attention and led to significant results: The number of contacts to the national child helpline grew by 260% during the first period of the initiative. Most of these contacts were related to cyber-bullying. 71% of school kids spoke about cyber-bullying with their parents, friends, or teachers. In 2021, an impact assessment of the Greatest Courage initiative was carried out by “Stories for Impact,” an external consultancy specializing in measuring the impact of social initiatives.
Improving the digital skills of seniors
In 2008, we launched Mer Digital (More digital) initiative, which has helped approximately 10,000 senior citizens in over 30 municipalities in Sweden and Norway improve their digital skills and confidence. The sessions, where young people teach the elderly new skills, also enable meetings across generations. In 2021 – amid the pandemic – Telia Sweden also launched printed guide materials for seniors to build their digital skills, which has been shared with 2100,000 Telia customers aged 75+.
TV -program teaching digital skills for seniors
Telia Estonia has developed a series of educational basic digital skills modules provided as part of a vastly popular weekly TV show for seniors on national TV during the pandemic. In total, reaching 200,000 seniors during the two years of the program.
Empowering women and girls
Women Go Tech
Telia Lithuania has joined the Women Go Tech initiative “Discover Technology.” It is a 7-week remote program organized to help women gain basic knowledge about the IT and engineering sector. The initiative aims to help them discover and plan the first clear steps for re-skilling in the tech sector. In 2021, 3,263 women participated in the program. One-third of them received economic support to join the program. In an impact assessment survey conducted in 2020, 92 percent of participants said they would recommend the program to others, and one-quarter of women who graduated from the program stated the training had a significant impact on their careers.
In Estonia, Telia supports a technology program for girls, reaching 1,500 girls aged 7-14. The program is designed to inspire and encourage girls to explore and take an interest in technology, robotics, and science through practical assignments.
Helping small businesses to digitalize
In the early days of the pandemic, Telia Finland recognized the need for SMEs to build digital skills and capabilities. In 2021 they reached 3,200 SMEs through training efforts to help them digitalize their businesses. Video training on various IT and technology topics is available for entrepreneurs at the ONE Hub website.
Telia Sweden has launched the “Bli Digital” initiative to help SMEs lagging in digital skills. The initiative provides local small businesses with training on how to use cloud services, remote meetings, move to e-invoicing, and other ways of integrating digital solutions in everyday work free of charge.
Startup Refugees Mentoring Program
In partnership with the Startup Refugees network, Telia Finland created a mentoring program to help refugees, asylum seekers, and immigrants to gain employment in the IT industry. In 2021, as part of the mentoring program, we also piloted a webinar that introduced reskilling opportunities for immigrants interested in working in the tech sector in Finland and Sweden.
In Norway, Telia Startup is a mentoring program for emerging companies that want to scale their business ideas related to communications technology. During the 12-month program, start-ups can access Telia expertise from several disciplines, such as infrastructure, connectivity, and technology. In addition, they get free access to a variety of Telia's products and services. In addition, the program provides educational materials and guides for the broader start-up community in Norway.