Basic Digital Skills Consultation: One week left to have your say

By Craig Hurring, Communications Director, the Tech Partnership

Basic, essential or core? This is one of the questions raised by some of the respondents to the consultation on the proposed Basic Digital Skills Framework. What do you think? As an employer especially, what digital skills would you expect all employees to have to make the most of technology at work?

Read Craig’s blog for an overview of the responses to date, and have your say now, before 20 March.


With just one week left to take part in the consultation on the new proposed Basic Digital Skills framework for life and work, the Tech Partnership has already received thoughtful and constructive responses from across education, industry, the not-for-profit sector and government agencies. We would still value as many people as possible providing their views in the week ahead on the digital skills they believe everyone should have in life and when starting a job.

This is an important framework, which as confirmed by Anne Milton, MP, Minister of State at the Department for Education, will be used to shape the government’s Digital Skills Entitlement programme, which will make training in basic digital skills free for all adults in the UK lacking relevant qualifications.

I thought therefore it might be useful to look at what the data is telling us so far, in the hope that it might encourage further responses before the consultation closes.

Who has responded so far?

In terms of types of organisations there is a broad spread, but it is dominated by the education and training sector (32%), with the smallest category the business/commercial sector (13%). In terms of size of organisation large business is dominating, with over 52% of responses from individuals working for organisations with more than 250 employees.

Given the amount of businesses that will depend on any future new hires having a basic level of digital competency when they start work, especially smaller businesses, it would be beneficial if as many people in business with an interest in digital skills levels could take the survey.

Basic … or something else?

The term “Basic Digital Skills” as a competence threshold term has been in existence for some time, which is why the Basic Digital Skills steering group initially thought it was an appropriate descriptor to continue using for the framework consultation. Interestingly however, almost half (49%) of responses so far suggest that people don’t like this term, feeling it sounds too dismissive. Of those criticising the term, responders suggested a number of alternatives, including “Essential Digital Skills”, “Core Digital Skills” and “Everyday Digital Skills” as potentially more positive and inclusive terms.
What do you think? “Basic” or “Essential” Digital Skills? Just let us know.

Safety and Security

We’ve had a lot of comments from contributors about bringing to the fore the need for individuals to understand how to transact safely and securely, and to be vigilant when using social media. Several commentators have asked for more specific details around the level of knowledge people should have about sharing personal information with others and guidance on how to recognise secure websites and payment management systems.

Getting this right without being too specific given the rate of change in technology currently is a delicate balancing act, why not review the framework and let us know how best to improve the current description for online security skills.

Digital Communication

What are the basic digital communication skills employers should expect their employees to hold? Should all employees understand how to use Skype or Facetime to support video conferencing and remote working? What should we expect any employee in any role to understand on day one when working with email communication or social media?

It’s essential we get the views of business owners or recruiters about what they believe are the entry-level skills that any individual at any seniority level should expect to have. Please let us know.


The survey closes on 20th March 2018. We’d really value as many people as possible reviewing and commenting on the proposed framework. This is your opportunity to inform the future digital skills training available to all adults in the UK through the government’s Digital Skills Entitlement policy. Don’t miss your chance, take the survey today.