techUK has published ‘Securing our Digital Future: the techUK manifesto for growth and jobs 2015-2020′ where it urges politicians and policy-makers to recognise the critical significance of the global digital revolution.
The launch of the manifesto was held at its office in London on Tuesday chaired by its CEO Julian David, CEO, techUK with speakers including Ed Vaizey MP, Minister for Culture & Digital Industries, Iain Wright MP, Shadow Business Minister and Lord Clement-Jones CBE, Liberal Democrat Peer and member of the Lords Communications Committee, all of whom welcomed the manifesto.
Charlotte Holloway, Head of Policy at techUK walked the audience through the manifesto.
Securing our Digital Future calls for the next government to use technology-led innovation to deliver high quality public services; increase productivity; and secure a million new jobs that help drive an inclusive and secure society. The manifesto sets out what the next government, working in collaboration with industry, must do to build on progress already achieved to secure our digital potential.
Vaizey spoke of the achievements the UK has made in technology recently, such making coding part of the national curriculum, Cyber Streetwise and the Rural Broadband Programme which has already reached a million homes and which hopes to reach 40,000 new homes every week. Moreover, thanks to getting rid of red tape, he believes the government is well on its way to ensure that 95% of the country has access to superfast broadband by 2017.
He commended the work of GDS and said he hoped the next government would empower it even more.
Wright said the manifesto was clear, direct and achievable whilst reflecting the hige opportunities available for tech in the UK. He said the main aims of the Labour party were very much aligned to the manifesto. For instance, close collaboration between industry and government, making technology top priority, and the government acting as a catalyst to innovation.
Speaking about the EU he said that the organisation spends 40% of its budget on agriculture whilst digital is neglected and this needs to be reassesed.
Lord Clement-Jones was the last to speak. he too commended the manifesto, saying it was a great piece of work that complements what is already out there, adding that the LibDems share its aspirations.
He emphasised that the UK often lacks the right talent, for which reason the post study work visa for graduate students should not have been clamped down on, and immigration rules need to be realxed. He also said thought must be given on how to strengthen the tech hubs and clusters like tech City UK in the country.
His only criticism of the manifesto was that there was no mention of intellectual property, laws for which need to be enhanced. While Pipcu (Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit) was a vital resource, there was been no discussion about its future.
Julian David, CEO of techUK said: “Tech and digital have a fundamental role to play in almost everything the next government will need to do, as we continue to rebuild our economy for the 21st century. That’s why today techUK is launching its manifesto as a roadmap to 2020. The key message for politicians is that voters and industry alike want the Government to secure our digital future.”
The techUK call to action includes:
- Powerful new UK leadership roles in government, EU and beyond
- A comprehensive package of science, innovation and talent
- “Digital-trust-by-default” across the public and private sector
- Deliver on “digital for everyone”