Mayor launches digital skills drive

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan has  has launched a new initiative to find and develop the next generation of home-grown tech talent to meet a growing digital skills shortage in the capital.

The scheme aims to inspire young people to join London’s booming digital, tech and creative industries, and also tackle the under-representation of women and BAME (Black Asian & Minority Ethnic) Londoners in the sector.

The Mayor has committed £7 million to this scheme as part of his Skills for Londoners programme. He hopes it will plug a growing digital skills shortage in London’s labour market with diverse, home-grown talent and encourage industry to take a greater role in developing new talent and recognizing potential.

The programme, funded through London Enterprise Panel and co-funded by the European Social Fund, will offer free industry-approved digital skills training to more than 1,000 young people. From coding and web development to digital marketing and visual effects, the training courses will aim to equip the next generation of Londoners with the digital skills the capital’s employers need.

A new marketing campaign focusing on some of London’s young ‘Digital Pioneers’ will inspire and engage young Londoners through their journeys into the digital and tech sector and shine a light on the huge range of opportunities available in London’s digital economy.

The programme will also offer training for 400 teachers and training providers to improve their digital skills and confidence.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “London’s thriving digital and tech sector is a world leader. From start-up companies to household names, there’s a huge range of home-grown and international companies here.

“But we need to provide all Londoners with the opportunity to succeed in this industry, particularly women and Londoners of a BAME background who have been under-represented in these fields for too long.

“I’ve been clear about my ambition to make London the world’s leading Smart City, and to provide the next generation of Londoners with the digital skills employers need will help our tech sector flourish. By investing in this new programme and funding free digital skills training, we can encourage more young people to consider a career in tech and fulfil their potential.”

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