Government is supporting increased levels of IT literacy through the refresh of the Essential Digital Skills (EDS) Framework, which sets out the skills learners require to be safe, legal and confident online, and find, manage, and store digital information securely, thereby helping them guard against malware and ransomware. The EDS framework is the basis of the training delivered through the £18m ‘Future Digital Inclusion’ programme. Delivered by a network of 5,000 Online Centres, which are primarily based in libraries and other community spaces, this programme has supported over 1 million adult learners since 2014 to develop essential digital skills.
Government is also supporting IT literacy through the introduction of a national entitlement to basic digital skills courses from 2020, similar to the existing legal entitlements for English and Maths. This will provide adults of any age the opportunity to undertake improved qualifications, based on the EDS framework, free of charge.
Government is also supporting cyber security through Cyber Aware; a campaign which aims to increase UK citizens’ and businesses’ resilience to cyber crime by encouraging the adoption of secure online behaviours. Key promoted advice includes, to always install your e-device’s latest app and software updates to make it less vulnerable to cyber threats.
In addition, the flagship skills programme GDS Academy teaches civil servants the digital skills, awareness and knowledge they need to transform and build the best public services. It offers training in subjects including agile project delivery and user-centred design. The GDS Academy runs across the country, with courses in Leeds, London, Manchester and Newcastle, as well as a partnership with the Scottish Government. More than 10,000 civil servants have been trained since it was set up in 2014.
Departments have built their digital professionalism and capability, with over 10,000 civil servants now having been trained by the GDS Academy; new standards have made services across government consistent, accessible and intuitive; and departments have delivered exemplar digital services.