WithYouWithMe: Unlocking latent potential to deliver digital skills at scale #techUKDigitalPS

Tom Larter, Chief Operating Officer, WYWM shares a guest blog as part of the Digital Transformation in the Public Sector. #techUKDigitalPS

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Delivering digital skills at scale is the essential foundation piece on which the UK’s DDaT Roadmap will be achieved – despite being relegated to ‘Mission 5’1. Without robust and dynamic digital capabilities spanning its entire workforce, the Government will struggle to keep up with ever-changing technologies through to 2025 and beyond. 

Amidst a worldwide shortage, creating digital skills at scale will require an innovative and multi-faceted approach that sees government work alongside industry to map existing workforce capabilities, assess aptitude for learning new skills and tap into new talent pools. 

Comprehensive capability mapping

The implementation of the Digital, Data and Technology Profession Capability Framework in 2017 was a crucial step forward in enabling the government to map the skills and competency requirements of roles across its workforce. 

If combined with new technologies – like WithYouWithMe’s Potential platform and SkillsTX – this framework can act as a vehicle to drive the rapid expansion of digital skills. 

The first step would be to create a complete skills inventory of the existing workforce – in-line with the DDaT framework – to ensure the Government are aware of the skills they have and the potential skills yet to be harnessed weighed up against the future needs.

Once baseline competencies are captured, the next step would be to identify individuals with proven potential to fill the growing skills gaps. 

Uncovering hidden potential 

WithYouWithMe’s Potential platform is a profiling tool which uses psychometric data to identify cognitive ability, aptitude for digital skills and suitability for a particular organisation, team or role. The platform matches individuals to digital careers based on data-driven insights from their testing profile. 

If implemented in this context, it would allow the Government to:  

  • Identify individuals with the potential to fill key roles,  

  • Inform the implementation of targeted training programs and,  

  • Enable talent mobility where individuals can be retrained and deployed in areas of strategic importance.  

Tapping into overlooked talent pools   

In addition to building skills internally, the Government must engage new talent – a difficult task in today’s market where a competitive private sector is chasing the same individuals. The way to do this successfully and consistently is to find talent where others don’t look.   

In the same way Potential reveals hidden talent in the workplace, it can also find untapped talent in broader society. Since 2021, WithYouWithMe have been offering free psychometric and aptitude testing – and free digital training programs – to a range of underserved and overlooked communities in the UK including veterans, neurodivergent individuals, refugees, women and youth.  

In the past, individuals from these communities have experienced barriers to employment fuelled by traditional hiring practices which focus on candidates’ past experience, rather than exploring their future potential.   

Of the 6,824 individuals in the UK who have completed WithYouWithMe’s testing, 83% demonstrate intermediate or above tech skills. Hiring from these diverse communities would see the Government benefit from access to a new pipeline of talent with a proven aptitude for tech – and access to rapid job readiness programs through WithYouWithMe’s training academy.   

This method of expanding the workforce also aligns with the existing Levelling Up programme which intends to spread opportunity more equally across the UK. This approach would not only offer opportunities to those who need them most, but also encourage diversity of thought in the workplace which is proven to deliver better outcomes2.  

If the UK Government is to deliver the digital skills needed to achieve its ambitions and transform the public sector, it will require the support of industry to create and implement an innovative talent strategy that offers genuine value to its workforce and to broader society.  


1 Missions 5 – digital skills at scale is outlined in the Policy paper Transforming for a digital future: 2022 to 2025 roadmap for digital and data published by the UK government 9 June 2022.   

2 Diversity wins: How inclusion matters, By Sundiatu Dixon-Fyle, Kevin Dolan, Dame Vivian Hunt, and Sara Prince, McKinsey 2020  

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This article was written by Tom Larter, Chief Operating Officer, WYWM. To learn more about Tom, please visit his Linkedin, and to learn more about WYWM, please visit ther LinkedIn and Twitter.

To read more from #techUKDigitalPS Week, check out our landing page here.

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Government Roadmap for DDaT: Progress and Setbacks – a Central Government Council Event #techUKDigitalPS

To wrap up the Digital Transformation in Public Sector week, the Central Government Council is pleased to host “Government Roadmap for DDaT: Progress and Setbacks” on 28 April 10:30-12:00.

Book here