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Report of the Digital Government Review

Basic skills: for all of the civil service as well as all of the people

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We want to see government bringing basic digital skills to everyone – and the public, voluntary and private sectors all playing a part in this process. We naturally expect the private sector to focus on training up their employees without basic digital skills. Similarly, parts of the public sector will have employees without basic digital skills, and they too must be trained

Government has already committed to providing civil servants with access to the same digital tools as the rest of the population: modern computers, open Internet access and access to social media, for example.

But we should also be providing dedicated training to all public sector staff –from Permanent Secretaries to frontline workers – in basic digital skills, in digital thinking and in approaches to service transformation. The transformational opportunity that we see can only be achieved if the whole sector can take part: everyone needs to be part of the solution to these challenges.

Putting this training in place will help us to deliver on the major challenges of digital transformation; will improve the lives and skills of people in the public sector; and will provide public sector staff with the ability to help the people they interact with outside the public sector to gain those self-same skills. Frontline workers will be some of the best champions to help the UK become an inclusive digital nation.

Recommendation 33

Priority: Medium

Provide 5 days of digital training to all civil service staff during the next Parliament and encourage and support frontline workers to become champions for a digital nation

This could be performed by using existing training days and by using updated material produced by GDS for central government digital teams. The material should also be made available to non-central government public sector organisations for their use.

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  1. Peter says:

    A Dialogue by Design blog ( on people and communities contains an ending which is relevant to this recommendation” “What we need are not only recommendations for digital approaches to engagement, but also training and to the public sector to effectively listen to citizens”