£200m digital skills training scheme launched by UK government

Government funding is to be aimed at digital skills training across high-growth UK sectors including green energy and construction

In line with the government investment package, UK colleges and universities will be better set to increase training opportunities for prospective job seekers, allowing them to zone in on more specific digital skills gaps.

Funding is also being put towards increasing access to higher technical qualifications (HTQs) — sat between A level, T levels and degrees — to gain in-demand skills including digital, healthcare and engineering, as an alternative to the traditional three-year degree.

Over 40,000 people in the UK enrolled onto a digital skills bootcamp in the last financial year, demonstrating the need to close talent gaps across the country.

With regional businesses and employers identifying priority skill areas and sectors for bolstering tech capabilities, as part of their local skills improvement plans, there is particular demand for green skills to help the UK reach net zero carbon emissions.

The government states that this transition will support creation of new job areas such as heat pump installation and solar panel maintenance, electric vehicle manufacturing and environmental consultancy.

This funding scheme is being introduced during Green Careers Week, a campaign dedicated to adapting the national recruitment space with a view to reducing environmental impact.

“This investment is about boosting local industries, building people’s skills and ultimately futureproofing our economy and the career prospects of the next generation,” said Education Secretary Gillian Keegan.

“Our local skills projects will bring together regional organisations, businesses and education providers to respond to the specific needs of employers, building an increasingly skilled workforce and growing local economies.

“Whether it is green skills, construction, engineering or digital, thousands more people can now gain the skills they need to secure good jobs closer to home. These are long-term plans that will ensure every area can have a brighter future.”

UK can increase tech GDP by £50bn a year with Government supportA business group addressed a shortage in skills and investment in a sector that contributes £150bn a year to the UK economy.

Sjuul van der Leeuw, CEO of Deployteq, commented: “Alongside digital skills training, businesses should invest in easy-to-use tools, such as marketing automation platforms, that lower the high-tech barriers and can liberate marketers from needing to be hardcore coders or developers.

“Companies should invest in selecting the right tools, and training people to get the most out of them. Whether it’s promoting a new product or running a campaign for the travel attractions industry, MarTech chiefs need a collection of digitally skilled staff that can wield their creative flair.”

Funding scheme beneficiaries

Educational institutions already planning to put the government funding to good use include MidKent College in Kent, which aims to build a new training facility for retrofit energy efficiency measures, and renewable energy solutions.

New courses will cover areas such as thermal imaging, aerial survey and mapping; utilising VR technology in order to simulate construction and engineering processes.

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“We know from our conversations with employers that growing skills for sustainable construction practices and improving the energy efficiency of existing housing stock are priorities for the sector here in the south-east,” said MidKent College principal and CEO, Simon Cook.

“We’re incredibly proud that this new facility will work seamlessly with our Home Energy Centre and Sustainable Construction Skills Factory at the heart of our Maidstone campus, and alongside our own efforts to make the campus carbon neutral by 2030.”


Emerging sustainable technologies – expert predictionsHarnessing emerging sustainable technologies including solar and wind energy transmitted through hi-voltage undersea cabling could mean we end up with surplus energy, not power outages.

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Aaron Hurst

Aaron Hurst is Information Age's senior reporter, providing news and features around the hottest trends across the tech industry.