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Basic IT skills need to improve

Simon Quicke

The skills gap has long been a problem in the world of IT and in a bid to prepare the ground for universal broadband access the government has called for a greater focus on improving the basic level of technology knowledge.

A report by Baroness Estelle Morris has identified a need to ramp up the support offered for the 11.6million people in the UK who donot have any basic computing skills.

Among the ranks of those who do not knowtheir way round an ICT world arethe elderly, the socially excluded and those with few qualifications.

"We must be ambitious about the level of ICT skills in the community. Increasingly, those who are not ICT literate will find themselves excluded as technology impacts on more parts of our lives," said Morris.

She added,"The government needs to have a clearer focus, be less bureaucratic and not as complex. It must work with its partners from the voluntary and private sector to persuade people that they need to learn computer skills and make it easy for them to do so."

One of the proposals of the review is that wider access is given to ICT skills providers to make sure that more people have the chance to learn computing skills.

Yesterday, the Digital Britain report was unveiled by communications minister Lord Carter outlining plans for universal broadband by 2012.

Special report: Digital Britain


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