The Digital Skills Committee was appointed on 12 June 2014 to consider information and communications technology, competitiveness and skills in the UK.
The terms of reference for the inquiry were "to consider information and communications technology, competitiveness and skills in the United Kingdom" and to report by 5 March 2015.
The Committee decided to set the inquiry within the policy framework of rapidly changing technology and examine what this meant for the labour market.
The Committee examined how prepared the workforce was for these changes. The digital industries currently predict a significant skills shortage. High-tech education is increasingly becoming key in many industries. The need for digital skills can be divided into two groups: the need for a general workforce able to work in an increasingly digital environment (skills for digital competitiveness); and the need for more specialists to build and maintain that environment (high-level digital skills).
We were keen to examine where the changing digital landscape left the UK in terms of global economic competitiveness. Questions in this area included:
- Are schools, further and higher education, businesses and other sectors ready for the implications of the changing digital landscape?
- What will be the implications for the Government? Are the Government prepared for these changes?
- Does the UK have the infrastructure to remain competitive with these new technologies when compared to other countries?
The Committee did not inquire into the content of the new computing curriculum, which was delivered in schools from September 2014. Nor did the Committee inquire into specific digital technologies.