This week’s big news is obviously the reshuffle, and has left me thinking about whether the new Cabinet will be more or less supportive of digital inclusion.
It was bittersweet to see Matthew Hancock leave his role on skills, as we will miss his support, but I was very pleased that he has been promoted to join the Cabinet. He’s been been really supportive to what we do at Tinder Foundation, and was very kind to come along to our event just last week at the House of Lords to tell everyone how impressed he is with our work (you can read my blog on it here). I hope he’ll be supporting the digital inclusion agenda around the Cabinet table, and I wish him all the best in his new role.
There are few appointments which I will be keeping my eye on – obviously Nick Boles who is the new Minister for Skills Enterprise & Equality, responsible for adult skills and informal learning. I was pleased to see he’s looking forward to the new challenge in a statement he made earlier this week: “I am very excited to have a new challenge. I am determined to make sure that everybody can acquire the skills to be able to benefit from the economic recovery.”
I’ll also be following the progress of Esther McVey in employment – as about half of our annual 150,000 learners are out of work and looking for a job – Mark Harper in working with people with disabilities – half of all disabled people don’t use the internet – and Ed Vaizey who has added the responsibility for digital industries to his role at DCMS on culture and libraries.
It was also sad to see Nick Hurd leave the Cabinet Office. He has been a great champion of modernising the community sector, and supported us in our role in capacity building our 5000 hyperlocal partners. Nick Hurd was very modest on twitter saying how much he had enjoyed the role, whilst handing over that particular baton to Brooks Newmark.
I guess we won’t really know how much they support digital inclusion until the Autumn and of course next year when they publish their manifestos, so I’m looking forward to hearing more.