IT Brief UK - Technology news for CIOs & IT decision-makers
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UK's ambitious Digital Skills Bootcamps lure young tech talent
Mon, 26th Feb 2024

In an ambitious move to bolster the UK's digital proficiency and meet the growing demand for tech-savvy professionals, the Secretary of State for Science and Technology, Michelle Donelan, has rolled out a novel initiative to support Digital Skills Bootcamps. These bootcamps aim to equip the younger generation with the requisite digital skills, positioning them for roles with average salaries of £70,000.

The innovative program offers free Skills Bootcamps in cloud computing, cybersecurity and software development, among other areas. The programme was devised in response to significant demand for cloud and coding skills and includes guaranteed interviews for all participants upon completion.

The Digital Skills Bootcamp initiative was launched by the Department for Science, Innovation, and Technology (DSIT) in 2022 as part of the government's drive to transform the UK into a global tech superpower by 2030. The campaign has already reported marked success, as over half of the participants landed jobs immediately in its inaugural year.

The promotion of digital skills comes amidst a decline in tech job adverts over the past year, with recruitment particularly challenging for junior and entry-level roles. Tech firms have struggled to attract early career professionals vital for fuelling their expansion plans. Aligning with broader governmental efforts to invigorate the economy, the programme complements measures such as reducing National Insurance Contributions, a move estimated to save the average UK worker around £450 annually.

Zoho UK's Managing Director, Sachin Agrawal, voiced his support for the new initiative, emphasising the importance of nurturing digital natives equipped to drive innovation. Without a surge in skilled professionals, he suggested, the UK could risk its pursuit to establish itself as a global tech powerhouse.

Agrawal referenced the alarming statistics released by the Chartered Institute for IT, reporting that 94% of girls and 79% of boys lose interest in computing by the age of 14. "Initiatives like [the] no-skill bootcamps are important to encourage young people into the technology industry," Agrawal affirmed, explaining how these bootcamps can help bridge the gap between education and industry.

He added that focusing on key skills such as cybersecurity, web development, and software development, among others, allows education and industry to take a hands-on approach. "[This] only helps to safeguard the future employment of our next generation, enabling them to operate well in the workplace, compete effectively for job roles, and contribute to the ongoing development of the UK's technology superpower status," concluded Agrawal.