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Please find below an indicative agenda for the Creating Digital Futures Conference. Please note the agenda is subject to change. 

09:30 Registration, networking & breakfast 



Keynote address

  • Chris Skidmore MP, Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation



Morning keynote 


Panel 1: How can the sector better tell its story?

The tech sector is growing at more than 2.5x the rate of the rest of the economy – at the heart of this is new jobs being created, industries being restored and whole areas being rejuvenated. Yet, for too many people a career in tech seems elusive or not for people like them. How do we as a sector get better at telling our story

11:30 Networking break
11:50 Session breaks into two tracks – delegates choose to attend one track

Embedding diversity in the pipeline 

The technology sector is extremely self-aware of its diversity problem and employers and non-profits are working hard to remedy this but what do effective interventions look like? Who should we be targeting with these interventions? And what more can industry do?

  • Sarah Atkinson, Director, Corporate Social Responsibility, Global, Micro Focus & Chair of Skills & Diversity Council, techUK (Chair)
  • Hema Marshall, General Manager and Leader, SMB Sales UK and Inclusion & Diversity Officer & Skills, Cisco
  • Debbie Forster MBE, CEO, Tech Talent Charter
  • Priya Ramdas, Digital Skills and Inclusion Team Leader, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport


The future of work: Opportunities and Challenges

As the whole economy digitises and AI, robotics and other technological tools become more widely used the opportunities for the UK are enormous. However, automation and the greater use of digital in the workplace threatens jobs displacement and negative public sentiment. What can industry and policymakers do to ensure the UK is prepared for the 4IR and how do we communicate the opportunities?

  • Vinous Ali, Associate Director of Policy, techUK (Chair)
  • Kate Dearden, Research and Campaigns Officer, Community Union
  • Richard Kershaw, Workforce Planning Manager, Talent Management, Konica Minolta Business Solutions
  • Adele Reynolds, Prinicpal Skills Manager, Greater Manchester Combined Authority 


13:00 Lunch

Panel 2: New Pathways to a career in tech

The pathway into a tech career is different for everyone. Yet the belief that a degree – in computer science or similar, is necessary has still persisted. With new formalised routes into a tech career at different stages flourishing, this panel will explore a number of the routes in and what they offer to the individual and the employer.

  • Patricia Keating, Executive Director, Tech Manchester (Chair)
  • Vinous Ali, Associate Director of Policy, techUK 
  • Amanda Cooper, UK Head of Strategic Capability Planning, Thales
  • Rachid Hourizi, Director, Institute of Coding
  • Helen Wollaston, Chief Executive, WISE
14:45 Session breaks into two tracks – delegates choose to attend one track

Remedying the Skills Gap: Practical steps for employers and policy makers

Panel discussion with speakers from Industry about practical steps they have taken to remedy the skills gap looking at use of apprenticeships, returners, engaging with schools and FE/HE.


  • Nimmi Patel, Policy Manager, techUK (Chair)
  • Samina Kiddier, Policy Delivery Lead, Department for Education
  • Kerry Harrison, Digital Skills Coordinator, Lancashire Local Digital Skills Partnership
  • Helen Dalton, Relationship Manager, Institute for Apprenticeships & Technical Education

Skills for the future: Reskilling and building a pipeline

Panel discussion on how you prepare for the future of work – what needs to be done both for the current workforce and those coming through to ensure they have the right skills as the whole economy digitises


  • Vinous Ali, Associate Director for Policy, techUK (Chair)
  • Tim Page, Senior Policy Officer, TUC
  • Michael Carney, Policy Engagement and Communications Lead, National Retraining Scheme Division, Department for Education
  • Jane Wood, BT Group Nations and Regions Director, BT

Closing remarks 

  • Vinous Ali, Associate, Director for Policy, techUK


16:00 Drinks and Networking
17:30 Conference close 

For more information contact:

  • Noreen Aldworth

    Noreen Aldworth

    Head of Events
    T 020 7331 2052

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