How can my organisation get involved?

The demand for digital skills programmes continues to grow. The UK Commission for Employment and Skills and Oxford Economics found that an estimated 1.2 million new technical and digitally skilled people would be needed between 2015 and 2022 to satisfy employer skills needs.

A 2019 Employer Skills Survey cites a lack of digital skills among applicants as an important cause of skills gaps. At the same time, the West Midlands has the fastest growing digital sector outside London and the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) has ambitious plans to double the industry’s economic output over the next decade.

It is against this backdrop that Birmingham Digital Futures was created. The University of Birmingham, PwC and Tech She Can all have ambitions to reduce the digital divide and help to create a sustainable pipeline of talent with the appropriate tech skills for our city and region.

This is not an exclusive group, and this is not something that the four organisations can tackle alone. As such, we are keen to hear from you if your company is interested in being involved in this initiative. Your commitment could be as simple as asking staff to volunteer to go out into local schools to deliver the Tech She Can lesson plans and inspire the next generation of the region’s workforce.

Equally, we recognise that there is a lot of great work already happening in the space and would welcome joining forces with others to amplify the impact our respective programmes and create a clear and coherent customer journey for the beneficiaries that we are working with.

Matthew Hammond, Midlands Region Leader, PwC: “We are committed to inspiring young people in the region in an increasingly digital world, showing them the breadth of technology careers and how technology is used in all walks of life in a more inclusive way. By combining forces with our anchor organisations in the region, we will increase the impact of our upskilling and technology programmes.

“Our technology degree apprenticeship programme with the University of Birmingham, which is now in its fourth year and the ‘Tech She Can’ and ‘Tech We Can’ initiatives, are just some of the many examples of how we are breaking down barriers to support social mobility so the next generation can build crucial skills and exciting technology-based careers.

Children working with computer aided design programme

 “Our recent news of our new technology hub opening in Manchester, which will create 1000 technology focussed roles, also reflects the critical and growing role of new technologies to our business and our clients and underscores our commitment to regional growth and supporting regional rebalancing. We are looking forward to building on these successes with the University of Birmingham and other organisations as they join with us to address the region’s technology skills gap and improve the industry’s diversity.”

Sheridan Ash MBE, Tech She Can Founder and co-CEO: “Tech She Can is going from strength to strength and by becoming part of Birmingham Digital Futures we are expanding our reach further. It is inspiring children and young people by showing them the exciting opportunities provided by technology and the great careers it offers. At the same time, it is addressing the problem of skills shortages in technology.”

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