I am delighted to announce the publication of the UK digital strategy. The strategy is being deposited in the Library and is available online at: www.gov.uk/ukdigitalstrategy.
The UK has a proud history of digital innovation: from the earliest days of computing to the development of artificial intelligence, the UK has been a cradle for inventions which have changed the world. Today, this history translates into a world-leading digital economy. The digital sector contributed £118 billion to the economy and employed over 1.4 million people across the UK in 2015. The digital economy is growing fast and digital technology is transforming every sector and all aspects of our lives.
Our digital strategy applies the principles outlined in the industrial strategy green paper to the digital economy and develops them further. It sets out our vision of a world-leading digital economy for everyone, with the benefits and opportunities spread across every region and every community.
The digital strategy is formed of seven strands, each underpinned by bold ambitions: no part of the country or group in society should be without adequate connectivity; everyone should develop the skills they need to participate in the digital economy and help all businesses harness the productivity benefits of digital innovation; making the UK the best place in the world to start and grow a digital business; for the UK to be the safest place in the world to be online; maintaining the UK Government as the world’s leader in serving its citizens online; and to unlock the power of data and improving public confidence in their use.
Overall, industry has come forward with over 4 million training places to ensure more people can get the digital skills they need. This is the start of an ongoing conversation and relationship between the digital sectors and Government: as we develop our industrial and digital strategies, we will build on that conversation. To facilitate this, we will work with the tech community and others to support the growth of the UK digital economy. By working together and putting each of the elements of this strategy in place, I believe we will cement our position as a world-leading digital economy and ensure it works for everyone.