Government responds to the Digital Skills Select CommitteeMatthew Evans
The Government has published its response to the House of Lords Digital Skills Select Committee report; ‘Make or Break: The UK’s Digital Future’. In responding to the report’s recommendations the Government acknowledges the scale of the challenge that it faces in making sure that we all have the right skills and access to the necessary infrastructure to take advantage of the technology revolution that is underway.
It sets a high goal and states that ‘keeping up’ is not enough, rather it wants to position the UK as a though leader, citing the UK’s position as a founding member of the D5* – a group of some of the most digitally advanced governments in the world – as proof that its work in the digital transformation of public service provision is now seen as ‘the gold standard’.
The Government emphasises the key role that the Digital inclusion and Infrastructure taskforce plays in the machinery of government as one of only 10 implementation taskforces. It also explains some of the rationale behind the move to shift the Digital Economy Unit fully into the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) – it had previously been joint with Business, Innovation and Skills. It says that this will drive greater alignment in policy development and helps to further reinforce synergies with the Creative Industries, a link which will hopefully help drive the STEAM (connecting STEM and the Arts) agenda.
The Government also committed to update Parliament on it progress in meeting its digital commitments. Although light on what specific metrics the Government will measure itself against, it does promise that more substantive details will be included in its Digital Transformation Plan (announced in the Productivity Plan) which is due to the published in the Autumn.
*The other members are Estonia, Israel, New Zealand and South Korea.