Lords to quiz industry leaders about digital skills

Media, marketing, business and internet captains will next week be called in front of a House of Lords committee as part of its investigation into the UK’s digital competitiveness.

Virgin Media, BT and the British Chambers of Commerce will be quizzed on Monday by the House of Lords’ Digital Skills Committee, as will Boston Consulting Group, Direct Line and McKinsey & Company.

As expert witnesses, the six will be expected to answer the committee’s questions, such as how the UK’s digital skills-base can prepare for the future, whether current infrastructure is up to scratch and how faster broadband would impact development.

A second batch of expert witnesses, due to be grilled by the committee on Tuesday, will then give their evidence on similar issues, including what digital skills tomorrow’s workers need and how the UK’s digital expertise compares to other countries.

This second panel of witnesses will include senior personnel from the BBC, Ofcom and the Tinder Foundation. The London Business School will also give evidence, due to come from Patrick Barwise, a professor of management and marketing.

Digital freelancers and other interested parties can follow the two days of oral evidence sessions on the parliamentary TV channel and on Twitter, committee chair Baroness Morgan has pointed out.

For individuals or companies with an even stronger interest in the digital sector, the baroness has invited such parties to submit their own evidence, assuming they have “relevant expertise or experience.”

As to the timetable the committee is working to, the Labour peer says the committee is putting together its report at a “fast and furious” pace, allowing for final recommendations to be published early next year.


28th August 2014

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