About Birmingham Digital Futures
The University of Birmingham, PwC and Tech She Can started the Birmingham Digital Futures (BDF) initiative to encourage young people across Birmingham and beyond to improve their digital skills – helping to develop their own careers and create expertise that all West Midlands employers can tap into.
We work together to address the shortage of a suitably skilled workforce with the appropriate digital skills required by business and others to keep pace with the exponential rate of growth and change in technology. Birmingham Digital Futures will be a forum to convene organisations in the West Midlands who have a shared ambition to collaborate and collectively address this skills shortage, both now and in future.
The core purpose of Birmingham Digital Futures is to:
- Improve social mobility and diversify the pool of regional talent by improving the digital literacy of current and future workforces;
- Inspire, educate, and raise awareness in communities (young people, teachers, parents, carers, and community influencers) about the possibilities of technology and enable them to think differently about careers involving technology, addressing any perceived barriers and misconceptions around such careers;
- Connect/convene the business community to enable collaboration around the theme of digital skills and inclusivity to drive economic growth for the region, combining efforts for greater reach, impact, and clarity for beneficiaries.
Inspiring possibilities of careers in tech
The first phase of activity under Birmingham Digital Futures uses content from the Tech We Can educational programme created by Tech She Can. The Tech We Can resources consist of video lessons, animations, lesson packs and role model videos. All of the Tech We Can resources aim to inspire children to consider a future career in technology by highlighting the breadth of tech careers available, the diversity of people who work in technology, how technology is used in all walks of life and how technology careers relate to children’s passions and hobbies.
The future of BDF
More organisations from different sectors across the West Midlands are expected to join the efforts of The University of Birmingham, PwC and Tech She Can to further enhance delivery and impact of inclusive digital skills programmes and collectively widen their reach.
Different programmes of activity will be developed under the Birmingham Digital Futures umbrella as the project evolves and other partners become involved.
Professor Tim Jones, Provost and Vice-Principal of the University of Birmingham notes: “We continue to broaden our educational offering, ensuring a high-quality student experience and working closely with business to provide appropriate placements and internships, Degree Apprenticeships and MSc programmes designed with business to focus on sector-specific digital skills gaps.
“Alongside inclusive initiatives to support higher education access for high-potential students who may have been disadvantaged in their education so far, we are committed to regional growth and the skills agenda beyond higher education, offering coding bootcamps and a variety of public engagement and outreach activities.
“We’re delighted to work with PwC and Tech She Can to align and strengthen our capabilities for more impactful delivery of digital skills and to support inclusive, sustainable growth for our region.”