The Government has launched a £200m digital skills training package aimed at boosting local economies and aid the rise of “digital nomads” in sectors such as digital technologies, green energy, and construction.
The new fund will be targeted at specific skill sets relevant to each region, influenced by local businesses through their local skills improvement plans. The objective is to foster digitally proficient workforces that can catalyse economic growth at a local level.
The training will be facilitated through universities and government schemes, alongside a range of other programmes, including free courses for jobs and skills bootcamps.
The funding will also make sure more people can access higher technical qualifications – that sit between A level, T levels and degrees – to gain in demand skills including digital, health care and engineering as an alternative to a traditional three-year degree.
More than 40,000 people started a skills bootcamp in the last financial year, exceeding the Government’s target.
Speaking on the initiative, Education Secretary Gillian Keegan said: “This investment is about boosting local industries, building people’s skills, and ultimately futureproofing our economy and the career prospects of the next generation.
“Our local skills projects will bring together regional organisations, businesses and education providers to respond to the specific needs of employers, constructing an increasingly skilled workforce and growing local economies.”
Deployteq CEO Sjuul van der Leeuw added: “Industry is desperate for skilled individuals who can capitalise on the potential of technology, especially in digital marketing and sales.
“Understanding the digital marketplace, and how to operate emerging tools such as Generative AI, is a crucial part of evolving digital skills. Alongside digital skills training, businesses should invest in user-friendly tools that lower the high-tech barriers.”
The move coincides with the launch of a creative business scheme which will see hundreds of businesses benefit from more than £10m of targeted support to attract investment and create jobs.
Firms across Greater Manchester have already been included in the first round of the Government’s Create Growth Programme. Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer is doubling the areas covered, adding six new areas that will receive a share of £10.9m for targeted business support, bringing the total number of creative organisations expected to be supported by the programme to 1,800.
The initial six areas of Greater Manchester, Leicestershire, West of England (including Cornwall and Isles of Scilly), East Anglia, North East, and Kent and the South East are now being joined by Nottinghamshire, Hull and East Yorkshire, West Midlands, West Yorkshire, Devon and Hertfordshire.
Frazer said: “Today is about not only celebrating all the things that make our creative industries special, but looking ahead to the future and how we, together, can chart a course that keeps these crown jewels of our economy shining for years to come.
“We’re already making progress towards the ambitious goals set out in our sector vision, unveiling millions in new funding to drive growth in our grassroots and scale ups and banging the drum for creative careers.”
The initiative is part of the Government’s strategy to attract investment and create jobs to grow the creative industries by £50bn by 2030.
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