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UK Digital Strategy Highlights Key Issues

The significantly delayed government digital strategy (GDS) has finally been released.

The significantly delayed government digital strategy (GDS) has finally been released.

Dubbed a ‘framework’ to ensure the success of the UK’s digital economy the GDS promises to increase skills, grow the digital sector and partner with industry.

The strategy was launched by Karen Bradley, secretary of state for culture, media and sport. It was originally due to be published last spring ahead of the UK referendum on membership in the EU.

At the launch, Bradley said: “We have taken our time getting it absolutely right, but it has been time well spent.

“This strategy will ensure that the benefits of digital are spread throughout the country; that we have the necessary infrastructure; that regulations are agile and benign; and that everyone has the skills they need to be citizens in the digital age and workers in the digital economy.”

The strategy sets out seven key focuses: connectivity, digital skills, cybersecurity, digital government, data and making the UK “the best place to start and grow a digital business”.  

MP Louise Haigh, Labour’s shadow minster for the digital economy, criticised the strategy and said it has no ambition or long term vision on skills and infrastructure.

She said:  “This strategy has been delayed for well over a year and the recycled announcements and meagre commitments will leave many wondering whether ministers have the vision our digital economy desperately needs,”

One of the main focuses of the strategy is skills – this includes a digital skills partnership where the government will work with businesses, charities and voluntary organisations to make sure people have the skills they need to thrive in a digital world.

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