Ed Vaizey to continue as culture and digital economy minister

Ed Vaizey is re-appointed as minister of state for culture and the digital economy in David Cameron's post-election cabinet reshuffle

The Department for Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) will once again see Ed Vaizey take post as the minister of state for culture and the digital economy.

Vaizey originally received the role after a cabinet reshuffle in mid-2014.  

The latest appointment was confirmed via Twitter, with the DCMS account tweeting: “We're thrilled to welcome Ed Vaizey back to DCMS.”

As before, the role is split between two departments – DCMS and the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS).

Vaizey will continue to be responsible for areas such as broadband delivery, telecommunications policy and media policy on behalf of DCMS.

Broadband roll-out under Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), which falls under the DCMS remit, has already reached more than two million premises in the country, but many are still concerned about coverage in rural areas.

The delivery of reliable broadband will also have an impact on the development of connected smart cities, another responsibility of Vaizey’s as the co-chair of the Smart Cities Forum for BIS.

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For BIS, Vaizey will be responsible for digital economy, digital entrepreneurship and digital skills.

With the digital skills gap getting bigger, the development of digital technology skills is of growing importance, and the UK is already struggling to address the issue.

Under the previous government, Vaizey introduced employer-backed Degree Apprenticeships and short courses to train UK students for a digital future, with the aim of filling one million digital positions in the next 10 years.

The role also involves responsibility for the European single digital market, an issue that will be highly debated due to the European Commission’s recent reforms to get the ball rolling on plans for a single digital market in the European Union.

The DCMS has already confirmed a new secretary of state for culture, media and sport, John Whittingdale, who took the post after the previous position holder Sajid Javid was promoted to business secretary.

Read more on IT for government and public sector

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