06 OCT 2016

Dr Dan welcomes Government pledge of Digital Skills Training

Speaking at Conservative Party Conference, the Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport, the Rt Hon Karen Bradley, MP announced that the Government has pledged to ensure that free training for adults will be made available for those lacking basic digital skills, as part of the Digital Economy Bill currently before Parliament.

Dr Dan particularly welcomes this news here in Central Suffolk and North Ipswich; in a recent article, Dr Dan specifically mentioned the importance of digital connectivity for those undertaking studies, either in school or in further education. But it is equally important to all of us in accessing employment opportunities, working from home or perhaps furthering our education online.

With the emphasis for more and more being online, being able to fully embrace modern technology and navigate the internet with confidence is essential and Dr Dan is delighted that the Secretary of State has confirmed that digital skills should be seen as equally important as basic literacy and numeracy.

Figures released by the Commons Science and Technology Select Committee found that up to 12.6 million adults across England lack the confidence and ability to perform basic online tasks such as sending an email, filling out an online application form or in some cases, simply browsing the internet. It is therefore to be welcomed that in tackling this issue, the Government will introduce a new statutory duty to provide free training for those adults who need support, where it is available.

Combined with the continued drive to deliver superfast broadband across all of Suffolk, this latest news will really help to ensure that Suffolk is able to compete and thrive in the business sector, but more than that it will ensure that rural counties such as ours are equipped to stay connected to the wider community, whether through social networks or carrying out online transactions.

This is also fantastic news for our children and young people and as they look to consider their future careers and employment aspirations; alongside basic core skills, having confidence in digital skills will help them to research homework tasks efficiently and reach their goals.

To succeed in the workplace, everyone needs at the very least to feel confident and equipped with even basic digital skills. Next week sees the Jobs Fair visiting Ipswich, on Friday 14th October, and for those living in North Ipswich and further afield this is the perfect showcase for employers to meet prospective employees, either for those seeking employment of for those looking to retrain. Companies from a broad range of sectors will be there but a common theme across them all will be the need to embrace digital skills, to some degree or another. That's why Dr Dan is delighted that this new announcement around digital skills training for those lacking in qualifications or capabilities will ensure that everyone can benefit from the digital economy and create a thriving economy here in Suffolk.

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Dr Dan's work in Parliament

Written Answers — Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Bovine Tuberculosis: Disease Control (12 Sep 2017)
Daniel Poulter: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what funding will be put in place to stop the spread of TB in cattle after the UK leaves the EU.

Written Answers — Department of Health: Mental Health Services: Occupational Therapy (12 Sep 2017)
Daniel Poulter: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how many full-time equivalent occupational therapists working in mental health the NHS has employed in each year since 2006-07.