UK digital training companies help address the £141 billion digital skills gap

We Are Digital, the digital and financial inclusion training business, has joined forces with digital marketing consultancy, Balanced Impact, to help upskill excluded communities and underrepresented groups across the UK.

The Digital Boost programme has been created to solve in-work poverty and address the national digital skills shortages which costs the UK around £141 billion in GDP growth.

First piloted in Greater Manchester as part of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority’s (GMCA) Fast Track Digital Workforce Fund, the programme has been extended by the Department for Education to allow more Manchester residents to receive training. We Are Digital is also rolling out a version of this service nationally to social landlords. 

Balanced Impact will supply digital marketing training materials and help train the We Are Digital trainers to deliver nine digital programmes for the GMCA Fast Track Fund which have received funding from the Department of Media Culture and Sport. Each programme comes with guaranteed interviews for jobs in specialist tech areas such as DevOps, data analysis, cloud engineering and digital marketing. 

This is the third round of training programmes which aim to fast track over 400 people into a specialist digital role and will upscale the existing Fast Track Digital Workforce Fund involving over 800 people. 

Matt Adam, chief executive, We Are Digital said: “We are very excited to be part of this innovative programme. Our work at We Are Digital aims to empower individuals and help them enrich their lives through learning and skills development. The Digital Boost programme is another positive and practical solution which can help break down barriers to exclusion and close the digital skills gap. We are pleased to have been awarded more funding to extend this service.”

Scott McBay, founder and MD of Balanced Impact added: “The digital skills gap has a huge impact not just on our economy but on people’s lives. In the UK alone, over 12.6 million people lack essential digital skills and the highest proportion of these individuals are in some of the most deprived communities in the country. 

“The UK digi tech sector is worth around £87 billion each year and is growing fast. This brings tremendous opportunity for jobs. We are excited to be part of this superb programme to help upskill excluded communities and underrepresented groups and to move a step closer to closing the digital skills gap.” 

The Fast Track Digital Workforce Fund was developed to address the digital skills gap in Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA). It is a joint venture between the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), GMCA and Lancashire Digital Skills Partnership (LDSP). 

Britain’s technology sector is worth £87 billion a year and the UK has 1.56 million digital jobs and 58,000 digital businesses. Between 2011 and 2014, digital jobs were created 2.8 times faster than jobs in the rest of the economy. 

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