The UK is planning to embark on a major digital training programme to boost the workforce in an effort to resuscitate the economy following months of lockdown, sparked by the Covid-19 pandemic.
In a speech to the UK Tech Cluster Group, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said he is "looking at ways to build a highly-skilled digital workforce across every region of the UK, so that people can shift into the digital or tech sectors or digitise their own businesses".
He cited the US "GI Bill", which was enacted in 1944 following World War II to help soldiers in adopt to life after the armed forces, providing help with loans, education and living expenses.
Dowden said: "The GI Bill gave American veterans the skills and qualifications to move into new areas of work, helping them to readjust to civilian life. Likewise, we need a strategy that will help workers here adjust to a digital-led economy after coronavirus."
Dowden also believes 5G will be at the centre of Britain’s recovery, ensuring the UK has "world-class, next generation" technology.
He added: "Right now, our clear priority must be growth - using tech to power us out of the recession, to drive productivity and create jobs in all parts of the tech industry, region by region, and in all parts of our economy.
“With offices closed and shops shuttered during the crisis, tech has kept our economy’s engines ticking over. And now, as we enter recovery, tech will put a fresh load of fuel in the tank, driving a new era of growth. So what are some of the key areas we’ll need to consider? What might spark a digital drive for growth?
“It means creating the best data regime possible – one that allows businesses and public services of all shapes and sizes to use and share vital information quickly, efficiently and ethically, as they have during the pandemic.”