08 Jun 2021

Fast Forward for Digital Jobs

techUK's Fast Forward for Digital Jobs report examines the state of play of adult education and digital skills training and sets out seven key recommendations to support learners, support employers, and deliver change at scale.

Technology industry ‘Fast Forward for Digital Jobs’ Taskforce leads call for inclusive economic recovery through digital skills.

The Fast Forward for Digital Jobs Taskforce, convened by technology trade organisation techUK and including tech businesses: Google, Microsoft, Amazon Web Services, BT, Salesforce, Cisco, FDM Group, and UKFast, is calling on the Government to ensure industry certifications are eligible for support under the new Lifetime Skills Guarantee.

The Fast Forward for Digital Jobs report highlights the significant discrepancy between the upsurge in demand for digitally skilled workers in areas such as coding and the opportunity to retrain in these fields for the many millions made redundant due to the COVID-19 recession. 

The report stresses the need to take immediate action to close the growing digital skills gap with thousands of digital job vacancies remaining unfilled, even in the current job market. This comes as recent projections suggest a further three million new jobs that will require digital skills will be created in the UK by 2025.

While recent UK Government initiatives show an understanding of the importance of digital skills, the UK does not yet have the infrastructure and resources to meet this challenge alone. The Taskforce is calling for the Government to work with tech firms to open up new pathways for all people to access digital skills certifications with a proven track record on employability, supporting individuals from all backgrounds to succeed in digital jobs.

The report outlines seven key recommendations under three headings for Government and the technology industry:

Supporting learners

  1. Showcase the life changing opportunities of digital skills and jobs – highlighting the diversity and effectiveness of pathways and jobs available to all.
  2. Champion bite-sized flexible learning as a flexible, affordable and effective route for learners to acquire productive digital skills that are valued by employers.
  3. Help learners meet the cost of retraining – extend financial assistance similar to The Lifelong Loan Entitlement and Lifetime Skills Guarantee for a culture and system of lifelong learning.

Supporting employers

  1. Help SMEs to invest in digital reskilling through a Digital Skills Tax Credit
  2. Enable more SMEs to benefit from the Apprenticeship Levy - including increasing the percentage of unspent funds from levy-payers that can be transferred to smaller companies.
  3. Ensure education providers focus on job readiness – create partnerships between employers and educators to ensure programmes focus on the skill sets those employers need.

Delivering change at scale

  1. Develop an online ‘Digital Skills Toolkit 2.0’ to help people navigate to digital skills and careers - Building on the success of the Skills Toolkit, an end-to-end ‘Digital Skills Toolkit 2.0’ would make digital opportunities and pathways more transparent and accessible to more people.
Read the report here.

 

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