Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Questions (576)

Ruairí Ó Murchú

Question:

576. Deputy Ruairí Ó Murchú asked the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science his plans regarding increasing digital literacy among citizens and businesses, as detailed in the programme for Government.; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6430/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Further and Higher Education)

In the Programme for Government ‘Our Shared Future’, there is a commitment to develop a 10-year strategy for adult literacy, numeracy, and digital literacy. I have asked SOLAS to lead on its development.

This new strategy will provide a framework to build on and streamline the substantial work that is already being done across a range of Departments and agencies, to increase awareness of services for the public and to capture the contribution that can be made right across Government to deliver better literacy, numeracy and digital skills in the adult population. The framework being provided through this new strategy will be used to embed the use of literacy friendly provision and plain language to ensure the most accessible public, civil and business services throughout the country

To support a whole-of-government approach, I established an interdepartmental stakeholder group on literacy, numeracy and digital literacy. This group is made up of Government Departments, Government agencies and stakeholder groups with keys roles in the areas of adult literacy, numeracy and digital literacy. The development of this strategy will include input from relevant Government Departments, agencies, and broader stakeholder groups. A technical advisory group is also in place to ensure the strategy is informed by relevant research and expertise.

Work is well under way, and SOLAS is currently developing the strategy under the guidance of the interdepartmental stakeholder group. The extensive research and consultation phases of the strategy's development are almost complete, during which views were sought from a broad range of stakeholders. I intend to bring the completed strategy to Government in the coming months.