Making sure that young and old are included in the digital society

Superfast developments! New opportunities all the time! You hear statements like this quite often when people are talking about digitisation. However, those opportunities are not as matter-of-course for everyone. That’s why we are trying hard to make sure that everyone is included on this journey. Let’s put our hands together with our social partners and let’s say to all of our employees: Step up, team up, and be part of it!  

We are increasing people’s digital skills

Everyone must be able to be part of the digital society – that is our starting point. How do you achieve that? By ensuring that all children enjoy equal opportunities in the education sector. And by giving vulnerable groups a helping hand in order to prevent them becoming disconnected. At VodafoneZiggo, we are playing our part in this by offering programmes for young and old and are financing those programmes from the Vodafone Foundation.  

Learning young: digital skills for pupils

The latest generations are made up of digital natives. Despite this, digital skills are not always a given amongst children. In many primary schools, digital skills do not always form a fixed part of the curriculum. It is revealing that a study by the OECD found four out of ten children in the Netherlands do not learn how to distinguish between hard facts and the fake news that they read online. 

If we want to ensure equality of opportunity for everyone, all children must receive effective teaching in digital skills of that type. This is something that we at VodafoneZiggo are advocating. With this in mind, we hold discussions with public and private parties to make sure that digital literacy is incorporated into school curricula as rapidly as possible. To that end, we organised a round table discussion attended by policymakers and experts in 2021. Until digital skills are part of the curriculum, we will continue to provide teaching ourselves. We are doing this by means of our Online Masters programme and our Experience Days. 


Robotics, hacking, conscious gaming, fake news – by following our free teaching programme Online Masters, children between the ages of 11 and 15 years can acquire new knowledge and insights about the digital world. We offer this programme to all primary and secondary schools in the Netherlands. With help from experts from the industry, young people can discover what they need to do in order to stay safe and aware when online and can acquire online skills. Colleagues from VodafoneZiggo are also involved in delivering guest lessons as part of the programme. 

In 2021, the teaching packages was expanded to include a lesson on artificial intelligence. By completing a series of interactive tasks, pupils are asked to consider the opportunities and the possible consequences of this technological development. What can a computer do better than a human? And is a smart care robot a real friend?  

Online Masters has been developed by VodafoneZiggo in collaboration with ECP/ and the Media Literacy Network (Netwerk Mediawijsheid). 

Results achieved since 2017

  • 580,500 young people in primary and secondary education have been reached by means of one or several lessons 

  • 1,632 primary schools have registered, that is, 22% of the total number of primary schools in the Netherlands

  • 818 secondary schools have registered, that is, 63% of the total number of schools providing secondary education in the Netherlands


Target 2021

Target 2020

Result 2021

Result 2020

Result 2019

The number of children who took part in the Online Masters programme






The number of children who took part in an Experience Day






*As a result of COVID-19, the numbers lagged behind and this is having an effect on the target for 2021


Familiarising yourself with technology in a playful way and taking a look behind the scenes at VodafoneZiggo. That’s what it’s all about during the Experience Days for pupils from groups 7 and 8 of primary education and the first classes of secondary education. During the course of an Experience Day, they take part in workshops and quizzes about technology that are led by employees of VodafoneZiggo. The Experience Days mainly directed at children from neighbourhoods with a lower socioeconomic status. In order to achieve this, we work together with JINC, an organisation that ensures these children gain a greater insight into the labour market and also into their own talents.

Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus measures, only very few children were able to visit us at our offices during the course of 2021. Instead, we visited school classes in three cities ourselves in order to deliver the workshops on-site. These took place in Helmond, Maastricht and Amsterdam. The annual JINC day ‘Baas van Morgen’ (Boss of Tomorrow) did take place as normal. On 10 June, the teenagers Maryam and Alpha fulfilled the role of HR director and shared their thoughts on the topic of ‘equal opportunities in the workplace’. 

Never too old to learn: digital skills for senior citizens

When contact with others in person is no longer a matter of course, digital skills become vitally important. The lockdowns in 2020 and 2021 meant that it was even more necessary for older people to be able to find their way in the online world. As a telecom company, we are doing everything we can to increase the digital resilience of this vulnerable target group. 


Making it easier to keep in touch with friends and family. Online banking and shopping. Reading the newspaper online. The internet has a lot to offer for older people. They can discover the world using our education programme ‘Welcome Online’. 

This programme normally consists of group lessons and individual support at home. Due to the coronavirus measures, however, that was often impossible. That is why at the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, we set up the Welcome Online Help Desk, to complement our educational programme. Last year, this enabled us to assist older people with digital issues remotely. In 2022, we hope that we will once again be able to expand the reach of our programme. One of the ways we will do this is by means of our documentary series Welcome Online, in which we will follow five older people as they set out to acquire online skills.

We launched Welcome Online in 2018, in collaboration with Media Literacy Network (Netwerk Mediawijsheid) and ECP/ One year later, the National Foundation for the Elderly (Nationaal Ouderenfonds) and Samsung then came on board. In March 2021, we then welcomed the high-tech company, ASML, as a partner. Our employees and those of ASML work on a voluntary basis in order to help older people find their way in the digital world. 


Target 2021

Target 2020

Result 2021

Result 2020

Result 2019

The number of senior citizens who took part in the Welcome Online programme






Joining forces with our social partners

We will only achieve our social ambitions by collaborating extensively with other organisations. To that end, we enter into partnerships and are supporting a variety of national and local initiatives to promote digital and social inclusion. The organisations we work with include the National Foundation for the Elderly, the Digital Society Alliance, JINC, the Media Literacy Network, ECP | Platform for the Information Society and Canal Pride Utrecht. Curious to know the full list of organisations? If so, you can find it in the Annex. 

Inspiring colleagues to take part

We can only achieve our social ambitions if everyone at VodafoneZiggo plays a part. We are therefore working hard to stimulate all of our colleagues to make an active contribution to society. 


Ambitions are things that you shouldn’t just put down on paper, but that need to be brought to life within your entire organisation. With this in mind and for the second time, we organised our People Planet Progress Festival in 2021 – a week consisting of 55 inspiring online sessions, including well-known names and captivating stories. For example, Helga van Leur delivered a passionate presentation on the subject of climate change. The regional director of JINC, Jonna Wiersma, also took part in a discussion about inclusion and equality of opportunity. ‘Where you are born still matters a lot’, she said. She was quick to acknowledge how important the Experience Days are for the young people who take part. 

In 2021, we also set out around the country with our ‘PPP on Tour’. We visited our shops and omnichannel engagement centres in Rotterdam, Leeuwarden and Maastricht. There, we spoke with colleagues about what they are doing to make a difference in their everyday interactions with customers. Overall, we managed to reach 721 colleagues by means of this programme – just as many as in the previous year, though 65% of them were taking part for the first time. Our social mission is being met with a great deal of enthusiasm and we are noticing that increasing numbers of colleagues are ready to make their own personal contribution by taking part in Step Up For Good. 


By registering on the Step Up For Good platform, employees can play a part in our social programmes during their working hours. Examples include giving lessons on our Online Masters programme, engaging in sports activities for charity or answering questions from elderly people on the phone or at the Welcome Online Help Desk. 

Our latest ambition is that by 2025, at least half of all colleagues will have taken part in Step Up For Good. We are increasing the available options all of the time. In 2021, for example, we took part in the World Cleanup Week, by inviting all staff to take a walk in their neighbourhood and pick up litter. Around 250 colleagues took part in that. And by means of the Codemasters project, colleagues can provide refugees with new prospects for the future by teaching them Python, a programming language frequently used around the world to build software.   


Target 2021

Target 2020

Result 2021

Result 2020

Result 2019

Number of employees who registered for Step up for good