Procurement Rebecca Smith · 5 November 2015
Boris Johnson unveils 5m programme to improve young Londoners’ digital skills
The Mayorhas launcheda new 5m programme to give young Londoners the digital skills necessary to break into the capital’s technology sector. London has been ranked the best city for digital entrepreneurs in Nesta’s European Digital City Indexand the city’s IT workforce is expected to grow by 30 per cent in the ten year period between 2012 and 2022 to 274, 000 people. The number of digital tech firms is also growing up 46 per cent in the last five years to around 40, 000 businesses. This is predicted to rise further still to 51, 500 by 2025. The new Digital Talent Programme, launched in partnership with the London Enterprise Panel, aims to make sure young Londoners aged 14 to 24 are best placed to take advantage of the capital’s tech boom and inspire a generation to access jobs in the digital technology industry. It will also look to open up pathways between businesses and colleges so tech firms can select the young people with the skills they need to flourish. The programme will establish a Digital Talent Pipeline to inspire more young people to access jobs requiring digital skills. It will be put together by a board of key employers, defining the skills needed to work in the sector, while engaging schools and colleges to help them develop their curriculum accordingly. It is predicted this will lead to the creation of 2, 000 new learning places and digital jobs for 1, 000 young Londoners. Johnson has said he is keen to tackle the emerging gap between the skills young Londoner have and what employers say they need to sustain London’s growth. A particular aim is to increase the number of women taking up jobs in the sector, as they currently make up a third of the workforce. The Mayor said: London is a hotbed of top technology innovation, brimming with creative minds who are helping to boost the capital’s economy and that of the whole country.
ABOUT THE EXPERTRebecca Smith
Rebecca is a reporter for Business Advice. Prior to this, she worked with a range of tech, advertising, media and digital clients at Propeller PR and did freelance work for The Telegraph.