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Lords Committee looks into digital competitiveness of the UK


The House of Lords' Digital Skills Committee will hold two days of evidence sessions next week as part of its inquiry into the digital competitiveness of the UK.

On Monday 1 September the Committee will hear from the British Chambers of Commerce, Direct Line, McKinsey & Company, BT, Boston Consulting Group and Virgin Media.

Committee Members will quiz the witnesses about industry competitiveness and the UK's digital infrastructure, and ask questions such as:

  • How can UK businesses prepare for the future?
  • What skills do future workers need for the UK to be globally competitive?
  • Does the UK have a competitive infrastructure to support a knowledge-driven economy? How is the change in technology affecting this infrastructure?
  • How does the UK compare to other countries?
  • How important is faster Internet speed for businesses and their development?

The witnesses giving evidence during Monday's sessions will be:

Panel 1: Marcus Mason, Policy Manager, Employment and Skills, British Chambers of Commerce; Angela Morrison, Chief Information Officer, Direct Line Group; and Paul Willmott, Director (one of, as an expert on digital enterprise), McKinsey & Company.

Panel 2: Sean Williams, Group Director Strategy, Policy and Portfolio, BT; Daniel Butler, Head of Public Affairs, Virgin Media; (Witness TBC) Boston Consulting Group; and (TBC) the E-infrastructure Leadership Council.

The following day, Tuesday 2 September, the Committee will hold further evidence sessions, where they will hear from the BBC, Ofcom and lifelong learning experts, among others. In these sessions they will concentrate on the issues of: boosting levels of digital and media literacy; digital careers; and lifelong learning.

The witnesses providing evidence in Tuesday's sessions include:

Panel 1: David Hughes, Chief Executive, National Institute of Adult Continuing Education; and Martin Weller, Professor of Educational Technology, Open University.

Panel 2: James Thickett, Director of Nations and Market Development, Ofcom; Helen Milner, Chief Executive, Tinder Foundation; Patrick Barwise, Emeritus Professor of Management and Marketing, London Business School; and Phil Fearnley, Director, BBC Homepage and myBBC, BBC.

The evidence sessions will take place in Committee Room 2 on Monday 1 September, starting at 2.15pm and Tuesday 2 September, starting at 9.45am.

The session will be webcast at www.parliamentlive.tv and is also open to the public. Journalists wishing to attend should go to Parliament's Cromwell Green Entrance and should allow time for security screening.

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