The Government’s digital skills adviser launches a new initiative to give workers the skills to ‘function in the new world’
Workers will need to continue developing skills for the whole of their employment lives if they are to keep pace with the fast-changing job market, digital skills adviser Baroness Shields has said.
The Government is today launching the Digital Business Academy, which will offer free digital and business courses online over a six-week period to anyone wanting to start, grow or join a business. More than 1,000 people have already signed up during preregistration
Tech City, the Government’s strategy to support technology start-ups across the UK, developed the project in partnership with University College London (UCL) to “meet demand for a more digitally skilled workforce.”
The organisation cited recent statistics by O2 & Development Economics which suggested that Britain will need 745,000 additional workers with digital skills to meet the rising demand from employers between 2013 and 2017.
“Almost a third of all job growth in the past three years have come from digital businesses. The way the economy is moving, you’re going to have to dip in and out of education your whole life to stay relevant and keep your skills up. Gone are the days where you could get one degree and that’s it,” said Baroness Shields, chair of Tech City UK and digital adviser to Prime Minister David Cameron.
She added that she has spent 18 months finding the right partners to build the programme, which she hopes will appeal to anyone looking to gain the right skills for the job market, including recent graduates and mothers going back to work.
The online programme will include courses on how to prepare a marketing plan, build a brand, how to use different social media channels for business and how to get access to finance.
The government will partner with job centres to promote the scheme, which has been endorsed by 35 industry partners including the BBC, O2 Think Big, Unruly, Ogilvy Labs and Microsoft Ventures.
“We’re trying to turn Britain into a digital powerhouse. Everybody needs to acquire digital skills to function in the new world,” said Ms Shields. “The tech economy will keep growing, there’s no doubt about that.”