Select Committee on Digital Skills - Report of Session 2014–15

Make or Break: The UK’s Digital Future



Summary of conclusions and recommendations

Chapter 1: Introduction

Impetus behind the inquiry

Major technological change

Box 1: Transformative health technologies

The digital economy

Box 2: The digital economy

The labour market and automation

Implications for inequality

The skills requirement

The role of the Government

The Committee’s inquiry

Chapter 2: The core pre-conditions

Part I: Hard infrastructure

Box 3: Key Statistic: Hard infrastructure

Internet ‘not-spots’

The internet as a utility

Box 4: Universal WiFi in Cape Town

Part II: Soft infrastructure

Digital inclusion

Box 5: Key Statistic: Digital inclusion

Box 6: The Government’s definition of digital inclusion


Box 7: Key Statistic: Women

Chart 1: Difference in the number of acceptances between men and women by each subject group at higher education level in 2014

Table 1: Examples of non-traditional STEM professions

Part III: Cyber risk management

Box 8: Key Statistics: Cyber risk management

Cybersecurity: the pace and scale of the challenge

Online safety and personal privacy

Small and medium-sized enterprises and cyber risk management

Chapter 3: Fostering and developing talent

Part I: Digital ability levels

Box 9: Digital skill level categories

Part II: Medium- and high-level skills

Part III: Future-proofing our young people

Broadening skillsets

Primary and secondary schools

Teaching the teachers

Box 10: Key Statistic: Teachers

Further education


Chart 2: Apprenticeship starts versus predicted UK employment by 2020

Higher education

Box 11: Case Study: The Open University and digital industries in Manchester and the North West

A new approach to careers guidance

Box 12: Key Statistic: Careers guidance

The role of parents and teachers

Part IV: Filling the immediate skills gap

Continuing Professional Development

Online and self-learning

Short courses: training providers

Further and higher education

Active employer engagement


Chapter 4: The business environment

Part I: Connecting and supporting business

Business support for small and medium-sized enterprises

Box 13: Key Statistic: Small and medium-sized enterprises

Box 14: Sci-Tech Daresbury and Harwell Oxford

Part II: Regional ecosystems and clustering

Regional differences

Chart 3: UK regional growth in the Knowledge Economy Index, 2009–2014


Figure 1: Concentration of digital companies across the UK

Box 15: Successful clusters

Box 16: Case Study: Leeds key industry clusters

Box 17: Bristol City Council and the University of Bristol

The role of Research Councils and Innovate UK

Box 18: Innovation in Switzerland: the World Economic Forum

Joining-up in the regions

The role of the Government

Chapter 5: Making it happen

Part I: A leading Government

Digital opportunity


The Government’s role


Part II: A Digital Agenda for the UK

The UK’s Digital Agenda

Appendix 1: List of Members and declarations of interest

Appendix 2: List of witnesses

Appendix 3: Call for evidence

Appendix 4: Acronyms and glossary

Appendix 5: Examples of initiatives and action

Appendix 6: League table of European capital city average download broadband speeds

Appendix 7: Go ON UK’s definition of basic digital skills

Appendix 8: Summary of Committee visits

Appendix 9: Government initiatives

Appendix 10: Scotland’s digital strategy

Appendix 11: Sweden’s digital agenda

Appendix 12: Internet non-users by geographical location

Evidence is published online at and available for inspection at the Parliamentary Archives (020 7219 3074).

Q in footnotes refers to a question in oral evidence.