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The Basic Digital Skills Framework is being updated - now’s your chance to have a say and shape its future.

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Digital Economy, Digital Skills and Inclusion, Research

The Tech Partnership and Lloyds Banking Group have today launched a consultation on updating the Basic Digital Skills framework. Created in 2015 by Go ON UK, working with a wide range of partners from education, the public, private and third sectors, the framework sets out five main areas of digital capability that everyone needs to be comfortable with to participate in the digital world (Managing Information, Communicating, Transacting, Problem Solving and Creating). It has brought about a degree of consensus around what basic digital skills actually look like, providing a focus for public and private sector efforts to address digital skills needs and, through the annual basic digital skills reports by Lloyds Banking Group, it has given policy makers some cold hard facts to grapple with.

Since April 2017, guardianship of the framework has moved to the Tech Partnership and it remains hugely important to us as we think about digital exclusion and how to address it. That’s why the Digital Skills & Inclusion team, along with the Department for Education's Basic Skills team, were very pleased to take part in a workshop that has taken the first steps in refreshing the framework, making sure that it remains up to date in a rapidly changing world.

Leigh Smyth,  who leads Group Transformation Culture and Capability at Lloyds Banking Group, said

With 11.5 million UK adults currently without basic digital skills, it is imperative that we build a single view of UK capability so all partners and practitioners can work together to provide consistent support to help people with the right skills and understanding. This new framework, developed in collaboration with cross sector organisations in tandem with insight, face to face local support and training will enable essential progress at a national and local level

The Tech Partnership, working together with Lloyds Banking Group, has pulled together an impressive array of experts from employers, think tanks, the third sector and local and national government (a full list of the group is at the bottom of this post) to work on the update. Most strikingly, when you look at the consultation you will notice that it is proposed that there are no longer five skills - as the Creating skill has been wrapped up within the other four – and there is a greater emphasis on safety and security online, which has become increasingly important since 2015. The distinction between skills for individuals and skills for organisations has also been done away with and the framework has instead been separated into two distinct stages: basic digital skills for life and for work - this is in response to appetite from learners and employers to go beyond the original framework and allow learners to demonstrate skills that might be required in entry-level roles.

Karen Price OBE, Chief Executive of The Tech Partnership, said

We are thrilled to be co-chairing this consultation process. Together, we have convened a formidable leadership group of employers, government officials, training providers and industry experts to develop and review this new framework and to ultimately ensure that all individuals in the UK can safely participate in and contribute to the digital world of today and the future, at both home and work.

We’re really looking forward to discussions over the coming months informed by as many comments as possible from everyone with an interest in digital skills and inclusion, so please do visit the consultation page before it closes on 20th March 2018 and get the word out to as many people as possible with an interest in basic digital skills. It’s hugely important that we get this update right and that the Basic Digital Skills framework continues to be a highly relevant, well-regarded tool for policy makers, charities and the private sector alike, well into the future.


Basic Digital Skills: Steering Group membership

Karen Price, CEO The Tech Partnership

Leigh Smyth, Group Transformation Lead for Culture and Capability, Lloyds Banking Group

Jay Hunt, Post-16 Basic Skills team, Department for Education

Liz Williams, Director, Tech Literacy and Education Programmes, BT

Keith Marshall, Internal Digital, HMRC

Kailesh Sudra, Social Media Team Leader, DWP

Fionnuala Horrocks-Burns, Employment and Skills Policy Adviser, British Retail Consortium

Steve Harris, Head of Digital, SSE

Sarah Waite, Principle Policy Officer, Economic and Business Policy, Greater London Authority

Helen Milner, CEO Good Things Foundation

Navroza Ladha, Deputy Director Digital Skills and Inclusion, DCMS

Camilla Drejer, Director of Corporate Citizenship UK and Ireland, Accenture

Nicola Gill, UK Programme Lead – Widening Digital Participation, NHS Digital

Anthony Impey, CEO Optimity and Chair of FSB’s Skills and Apprenticeship Committee

Rishi Saha, UK Director, Public Policy Amazon

Sally Dyson, Head of Digital Participation, SCVO

Rachel Neaman, CEO, Corsham Institute

Sarah Foxhall, Senior Corporate Affairs, Microsoft

Adele Reynolds, Principal Skills Manager, Greater Manchester CA

Also in attendance

Jemma Waters – Lloyds Banking Group

Helen West – The Tech Partnership

Sue Neiland – The Tech Partnership

Elizabeth Perry – Department for Education

Catherine Knivett – Corsham Institute (for Rachel Neaman)

Bea Karol Burks - Good Things Foundation (for Helen Milner)

Avi Gillis – DCMS (for Navroza Ladha)

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