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Six principles for digitalisation agreed

Government, industry and trade unions have jointly agreed a new set of ‘guiding principles’ for digitalisation to help manufacturers make the most of advanced digital technologies.

The six guiding principles have been developed to help companies drive the adoption of new technologies in a way which generates good jobs, improved productivity and a clean footprint.

The principles are as follows:

  1. Partnership at Work 

Share plans for, and address any issues arising from, the introduction of digital technology, through co-operation, consultation and mutual agreement with the workforce

  1. Health, safety, welfare and environment 

Assess any potential impacts on health, safety and sustainability arising from the use of digital technology and conduct appropriate training to mitigate any associated risks and to make the most of opportunities for improvement

  1. Developing digital skills for the future 

Ensure that people have access to the training they need through organisational and personal development plans, agreed with employees and unions, where they are present. 

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The six principles will help companies to introduce new technology whilst creating good jobs, improved productivity and a clean footprint.

4. Respect at work 

Consider developing codes of conduct on data use, including within supply chains, drawn up in consultation with the workforce and their representatives

  1. Job Security and enhancement 

Reinvest, where possible, the growth generated by digital technology into areas that provide more opportunities and better jobs within the organisation

  1. Equalities, diversity and inclusion 

Include equality impacts within plans for digitalisation so that new ways of working and working time, job design, job evaluation, access to training, retraining and progression support inclusivity and diversity

The principles were launched by the Made Smarter Commission - launched in 2018 to develop a digital vision for the future of UK manufacturing - after a meeting with Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom.

Prof Juergen Maier, Chair of the Commission and Siemens UK CEO, said:

“To make a success of this 4th Industrial revolution, it needs to be truly inclusive. That means strong partnerships when it comes to digitalisation, technology deployment and upskilling and the Made Smarter work is totally committed to that. 

“We’ve long said we need a workforce ready for technology disruption and 1 million existing workers need new digital skills. This partnership between government, industry and the Trades Union Congress (TUC) is the first step in developing a detailed roadmap to deliver this.”

To find out how to embark on your digitalisation journey, visit

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