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Industry-led Tech Partnership gets £18m from government to grow digital skills

Partnership includes BT, Capgemini, Cisco, Accenture and Tata Consultancy Services

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The government is giving £18 million of funding to support the industry-led Tech Partnership, which aims to bolster the nation's digital skills development and create new jobs.

The funding is alongside another £11.5 million of private investment for the digital drive. The Tech Partnership - founded by employers including Cisco, BT, Capgemini, Tata Consultancy Services, Telefonica/O2, Accenture, HP, IBM, and National Grid - has been successful in bidding for funds from the government's Employer Ownership of Skills Pilot fund (EOP).

The pilot combines money from business and the government with the aim of helping employers to invest in the skills and training they need for growth.

David Willetts, minister for universities and science, said: "The new Tech Partnership is the latest example of Employer Owned Industrial Partnerships, enabling top employers to take the lead in addressing their skills needs.

"Our £18 million investment will help support the Partnership's work to deliver a range of new employer-led developments including support for careers advice, new Massive Open Online Courses, industry-accredited apprenticeships and 'industry gold' degrees. The creation of new Tech Hubs will also help to propel growth in specific skills areas such as cyber security and big data."

By 2020, the Tech Partnership is aiming to shift the gender balance - with a 50:50 gender balance in entry level tech jobs to expand the pool of talent entering the sector.

It is also aiming to inspire young people by establishing digital careers within the top quartile of desirable jobs in the view of 16 - 21-year-olds. In addition, it wants to increase job opportunities by doubling the rate of digital recruitment from schools and universities to give the nation a new pipeline of home grown talent to support growth.

In its first two years, the Tech Partnership says it will create 2,750 new apprenticeship starts on industry accredited programmes, and start Tech Skills Hubs that provide a national centre for employers to work together on addressing emerging skills needs, in areas such as cyber security and big data.

Phil Smith, CEO of Cisco UK, and chair of the Tech Partnership said: "We will, through new apprenticeship and degree programmes, inspire young talent into the workforce of the future where the potential of technology is life-changing. With the first ever scheme of training grants for our sector, we will support employers willing to invest more in the strategically important digital skills the nation will rely on in the future."



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