Tech Partnership to take forward Doteveryone’s work on Basic Digital Skills

Doteveryone is delighted that employer network the Tech Partnership is to carry forward its work to address the needs of the more than 12 million adults in the UK who lack basic digital skills.

Doteveryone, and its predecessor organisation Go ON UK, has successfully highlighted the lack of key digital skills in the UK workforce and the impact this has on people’s work, finances and health. The Tech Partnership – the network of employers working to create skills for the UK’s digital economy – will lead the next phase of this work.

Rachel Coldicutt, CEO of Doteveryone, said: “We have worked hard to champion the digital skills agenda by arguing its powerful social and economic case to Government, commercial and third sectors. Our mission was to inspire and support our partners to invest time, money and energy into digital skills initiatives that educate and inform the sector, whilst also impacting people’s lives in communities across the UK.

“The Tech Partnership is the UK’s pre-eminent body for digital skills, with responsibility for the National Occupational Standards and a strong track record in apprenticeship and training standards. It makes sense for them to include the Basic Digital Skills remit in their portfolio, and I’m delighted to see an employer body taking on this vital role”.

Doteveryone, which was founded by Martha Lane Fox to address the issues society faces in the digital age, has done extensive research into basic digital skills in the UK.

It has defined and designed the UK’s basic digital skills framework, established an annual Basic Digital Skills Survey, which tracks the progress of digital skills initiatives, and created the Digital Exclusion Heatmap to identify where the likelihood of digital exclusion is most acute across the UK.

This research highlighted that:

  • An estimated 12.6 million or 23% of adults in the UK are lacking at least one of five basic digital skills – managing information, communicating, transacting, problem solving and creating.
  • Among over 65 year olds, skills levels are significantly lower –  57% lacked one or more of these skills.
  • There is a large discrepancy between skills in different parts of the country.  More than 80% of adults in Greater London have basic digital skills, compared with only 62% of people in Wales.

“Improving citizens’ digital skills is high on employers’ agenda,” said Karen Price, CEO of the Tech Partnership. “Almost every role now has some element of technology to it, and employers want to be sure that every recruit has basic competence in digital operations. And on a broader level, employers are keen to have a diverse workforce capable of playing a full part in modern life.”

Rachel Neaman, who will provide specialist guidance and support on basic digital skills to the Tech Partnership during the transition from Doteveryone, said: “The Tech Partnership has a great track record of upskilling the UK’s workforce.  It’s rewarding to see that employers are equally committed to a wider agenda. There is so much to gain from a population equipped to make the most of digital opportunities – stepping up to the driving seat rather than simply being passengers.”

The Tech Partnership will take responsibility for continuing this work from 31 March 2017.