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General Election 2019: Digital must be at the core of the next government’s strategy

TechUK lays out the technology priorities it wants to see from the next UK government to boost the digital economy

The 2019 General Election comes at an important time in our politics, with sharp differences between the main political parties on economic policy and the decision to leave the European Union (EU).

Although our political parties have very different visions of the future, they will all need to harness the potential of technology to deliver on their promises.

The tech sector is the UK’s modern success story, growing twice as fast as the rest of the economy. It significantly outperforms our neighbours’ sectors across Europe and has established the UK as one of the world’s leading digital economies.

As well as delivering clear economic benefits, digital technologies will be key to finding solutions to the great challenges of our time. If we want to make things better for people, society, the economy and our planet, then we must make the best possible use of the technology available.

TechUK’s manifesto, Towards a better future, sets out five challenges for the next government: building the smarter state to transform public services; driving innovation and investment in the digital economy; ensuring a safe and secure digital world; expanding skills, talent and opportunities for the future; and putting the UK at the heart of the global digital economy.

To meet these five challenges the manifesto sets out 25 clear deliverable recommendations, which include:

  • Appointing a named ministerial champion for digital transformation in each department to evangelise innovation and oversee business transformation at departmental level.
  • Establishing a Net Zero Tech Taskforce, focused on harnessing digital technology to drive rapid decarbonisation across the economy.
  • Introducing a digital and media literacy curriculum for all primary and secondary school children so that every child is equipped with the knowledge and tools they need thrive in a connected world.
  • Working with employers and training providers to build a skills brokerage platform to help people access the training opportunities they need join the digital workforce.
  • Championing digital trade so that UK trade policy can support global innovation and expand markets for UK businesses, both small and large.

To move towards a better future, we need to be both optimistic about the opportunities ahead and realistic about the challenges we face.

The UK must build on its success and be the best place to start, grow and scale a tech business, but also to lead the world in using digital technology for good.

Our manifesto sets out how the next government can make this happen. We very much look forward to working closely with that government on this important agenda.

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