Digital skills review issues call for evidence

A taskforce into digital skills established by Labour leader Ed Miliband is seeking views on how the UK can boost the ICT capabilities of employees.

The UK Digital Skills Taskforce is being led by former TV presenter Maggie Philbin, tasked with examining how the country can develop talent for digital industries for the digital needs of businesses and government.

The taskforce is hoping to produce an interim report in June in order to influence political parties’ general election manifestos, and has issued a call for evidence to be submitted by 4 May.

The document said: “Technological advances are causing considerable change within the economy, both making many jobs redundant while creating whole new careers and industries.

“This represents both a challenge and an opportunity for the UK. We want to know what can be done to ensure that the UK does its utmost to prepare for this.”

The taskforce is also looking to include data from existing relevant reports, it said.

Topics the taskforce would like to hear opinions on include:

  • Which digital skills are most urgently needed? What are the digital skills that will be needed in the future?
  • How can perceptions of digital careers be improved? How can we help students, parents and teachers better understand the breadth of opportunity and the different entry points? 
  • What responsibility do businesses have in helping to improve digital skills across every age group?
  • How can schools ensure students acquire the digital skills and understanding they will need in the future? What support is needed? What are the tripwires? How can schools make better use of technology in and out of the classroom?
  • How can we encourage better use of technology across all stages of education to teach students better, enrich their learning and improve efficiency?
  • What needs to be done to ensure that the new computing curriculum in England is successfully implemented?
  • What role can apprenticeships play in boosting the UK’s home grown talent for digital skills?  What would a really good apprenticeship in digital skills/IT look like? What would help companies of all sizes offer apprenticeships?
  • How can further education and higher education better equip students with the digital skills which are needed?
  • How can careers guidance at every stage be improved to ensure that people receive the necessary information, advice and guidance to help them make informed choices? Who should deliver this advice and how?
  • Ongoing learning and reskilling of the existing workforce will be a vital component of ensuring that the UK responds to the challenge of technological advance. How do we up skill the existing work force – both in and out of employment? How can we provide better opportunities for career transitions, career pathways for all ages?
  • What can be done to ensure that politicians recognise the importance of digital skills?

Submissions should be emailed to, copying in by 4 May.

Colin Marrs

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