In an ever-growing digital society, it is important that no one is left behind.

In 1924 the challenge of lawmakers was to ensure that everyone could read and write. The challenge in 2024 is to ensure that everyone has the digital skills they need.

I recently spoke in the House of Commons about this issue, and the barriers we must overcome to ensure that everyone can feel confident using new technology.

Digital exclusion is real for many people, and it is vital that this is given as much importance as we gave to literacy in schools over a century ago.

I know that many constituents in Islwyn often feel excluded, particularly regarding online banking.

Just recently I met with the new Barclays Local team in Libanus Lifestyle Centre. There, we discussed the importance of developing people’s skills, but also recognised how local and in-person banking services should always be available to those who need it.

I understand the value of in-person communication, especially when dealing important subjects such as finances, which is why I am pleased Barclays Local team are ready to help those who need it.

Age UK say almost one-in-four (23 per cent) over 65s are not sure how to turn on their device and enter any account login information as required. It is important that everyone, no matter their age, has the skills to open their device should they want to.

Age UK provides helpful information to offer older people the essential knowledge that is needed to use day-to-day technology. You can contact the Age UK Advice Line by calling 0800 678 1602.

However, it is not only older people that can be excluded. There are many other barriers, such as affordability and connectivity.

Some seven per cent of UK households do not have an internet connection at home. That figure rises to 23 per cent when we look at households with an annual income of under £10,400.

Failing to act here would be to say that digitally excluded people are not as worthy of the opportunities enjoyed by people who have the skills, confidence, and income to regularly get online.

As the Shadow Minister for Technology and the Digital Economy, I have been lucky enough to see the endless opportunities that technology offers, ones that I would never have imagined as a child.

I want everyone to experience this, so we can view technology as a tool, rather than a danger.