On 1 February the government launched a new national digital strategy, Harnessing Digital – The Digital Ireland Framework, to drive and enable the digital transition across the Irish economy and society.
The Digital Ireland Framework sets out a high level pathway to support Ireland’s ambition to be a digital leader at the heart of European and global digital developments.
The Framework recognises the potential of digital for inclusiveness, security and safety, underpinned by strong governance and a well-resourced regulatory framework. It is hoped that the Framework will help people fully unlock the benefits of digital including: more flexible and remote working and new job opportunities; new markets and customers for businesses; more efficient and accessible public services for all; and empowerment and choice in how we learn or participate in social activities.
The importance of digital skills is acknowledged within the Framework with an ambition of providing digital skills for all – from school, to further and higher education, to life-long learning, with a target of increasing the share of adults with at least basic digital skills to 80% by 2030. Investing in cyber-security to protect Irish citizens and businesses, including increased resources for the National Cyber Security Centre is also noted as a priority.
The ‘Deliver Digital Skills for wider Society’ workstream aims to enable everyone to engage with and benefit from digitalisation. Under this workstream, it was noted that the Government will support widespread Digital Literacy Skills including through the implementation of the 10-year Adult Literacy for Life Strategy; and promote Media Literacy, including through the new Media Commission.
The work of Media Literacy Ireland and the Be Media Smart campaign is recognised in the report and notes that the new Media Commission, to be established under the Online Safety and Media Regulation Bill, will build on this workaround media literacy.