age has been published by Margaret Beckett, president of the board
She also announced a new information age partnership bringing
industries to work with government to exploit opportunities.
'Our Information Age' sets out the range of activity underway or
planned within government based on the goals of:
- harnessing the potential of IT to transform education
- widening access to new technologies
- promoting competition and competitiveness
- fostering high quality new services
- modernising government
Mrs Beckett said: 'The statement demonstrates the importance government attaches to new technologies across all aspects of national life. It sets out a coherent strategy to help the UK exploit the opportunities and become a world leader. Our ability to meet these challenges will be a crucial factor in our competitiveness as a nation in the years ahead.
'The government has a key role but is only one among a number of
players. It is important that we foster a strong partnership
between the public and private sectors to achieve the full
'The formation of the information age partnership will help achieve
this by bringing together leading chief executives from the
information age industries to focus on some of the key issues, such
as electronic business, where industry and DTI, working together,
can help accelerate developments.'
The information age partnership will complement the work of the
information age competitiveness working party set up under the
Competitiveness UK initiative in November 1997 to help feed into the
Competitiveness White Paper to be published later this year.
'Our Information Age' also sets out plans for the DTI-led programmes
IT for All and the Information Society Initiative (ISI) Programme
Mrs Beckett said: 'I believe that these partnership programmes with the private sector can make a real difference. Already, IT for All is providing some 2000 access sites across the country where the public can get first-hand experience of information and communications
'I am determined to see that increase to over 4000 access sites, many
of them learning centres where the public can develop basic IT
skills, by the end of this year. This will make a real contribution
to tackling the uncertainty that many ordinary people feel when
faced with new technologies.
'Businesses also need objective advice and support, particularly
smaller firms. The local support centres that DTI is establishing
under the ISI Programme for Business can help these firms understand
the potential business benefits of new technologies and the
competitiveness benefits they can bring. There will be 80 centres
across the country by the end of this year so that all businesses
can have easy access to these important sources of help and advice.
This service will make a real contribution to meeting our ambitious
target of seeing a doubling in the number of small and medium sized
companies who are making effective use of new technologies by 2001.'
1. The full text of the statement 'Our Information Age' is
available on the Downing Street website, http://www.number-10.gov.uk The text is available in hard copy and summary versions by phoning DTI Publications Order Line on 0870 150 2500.
2. For more details on IT for All contact Philip Brady or
Philippa Haslegrave on 0171-631 3434. The IT for All public
response line is 0800 456567. For further information on the ISI
Programme for Business contact their Publicity Centre on 0171- 828
1593. The Infoline number for those interested in any of the ISI's
Programme for Business activities or literature is 0345 15 2000.
3. Members of the Information Age Partnership are: Margaret
Beckett, President of the Board of Trade; Barbara Roche, Minister
for Small Firms, Trade and Industry; John Birt, Director General
BBC; Mark Booth, Chief Executive BSkyB; Peter Bonfield, Chief
Executive BT; Graham Wallace, Chief Executive Cable & Wireless
Communications; Nigel Walmsley, Chairman Carlton Communications plc;
Cliff Stanford, Chief Executive Demon; EDS Ltd; Carl Symon, General
Manager UK IBM; Keith Todd, Chief Executive ICL; Keith Chapple,
Managing Director Intel Corporation (UK) Ltd; David Svendson,
Managing Director Microsoft Ltd; Peter Horne, President
Mitsubishi Electric; David Brown, Chairman Motorola Ltd; David Ball,
President Nortel; Marjorie Scardino, Chief Executive Pearson Plc;
Andrew Sadler-Smith, Chief Executive Novell; Philip Crawford, Senior
Vice President UK & Ireland Oracle Corporation; Gail Rebuck,
Chairman & Chief Executive Random House; Nigel Stapleton, Chairman
Reed Elsevier plc; Peter Job, Chief Executive Reuters Ltd; Chris
Gent, Chief Executive Vodafone Group plc; Anthony Parish, Director
General Federation of the Electronics Industry; Geoff Slyfield,
President of the Computing Services & Software Association &
Managing Director of Tangent International Ltd; Clive Bradley,
Confederation of Information & Communications Industries; Bill
Macintyre, DTI Head of Communications Information Industries (CII)
Directorate; David Baxter, DTI CII Project Director for the
Information Society Initiative; Mandy Mayer, DTI CII Deputy Director
for Industry Sponsorship.