Boris Johnson Launches £5m Digital Skills Programme For Young Londoners


Mayor of London hopes that investment will keep London at the forefront of the world’s technology

Young Londoners looking to learn digital skills will be able to benefit from a new scheme announced by the Mayor of London today.

The £5m plan, launched by the London Enterprise Panel (LEP), will look to ensure that the capital remains one of the world’s leading cities when it comes to digital technology.

The investment will also look to tackle the emerging gap between the skills young Londoners have or are being equipped with and what employers say they need in order to sustain London’s growth, LEP says.


boris johnson mayor of London © landmarkmedia ShutterstockThe investment comes as it is predicted that London’s information technology workforce is expected to grow by 30 percent between 2012 and 2022 to employ 274,000 people.

The number of digital technology companies in the capital is also increasing, growing by 46 percent in the last five years to around 40,000 businesses and forecast to rise to 51,500 by 2025.

In order to combat this, the new plan will establish a London Digital Talent Pipeline to inspire more young Londoners to access jobs requiring digital skills, and also increase the number of places for people aged 16 and over at further education colleges so that young Londoners can study industry-designed and endorsed digital short courses that are going to lead to a job.

“London is a hotbed of top technological innovation, brimming with creative minds who are helping to boost the capital’s economy and that of the whole country,” said Boris Johnson, the Mayor London and the chairman of the LEP.

“However, it is absolutely vital that we nurture our tech stars of the future and make sure that our deep reserves of talent do not run dry. This new scheme will help London to remain ahead of the game when it comes to tech and give thousands of young Londoners the chance to share in the city’s economic success.”

The news was hailed by the technology industry as an important step in promoting the UK’s digital skills.

“The news that the Mayor of London plans to invest £5m into teaching young Londoners essential digital skills is positive for the future of digital,” said Regina Moran, CEO, UK & Ireland, Fujitsu.

“It is important that all stakeholders in the IT industry – from schools and universities to IT organisations like ourselves work together to solve this problem of the digital skills gap. We at Fujitsu believe that education should be at the heart of ensuring the UK and Ireland is, and remains, a global digital powerhouse.”

Educational institutions from across the spectrum – primary schools to universities – are pivotal in closing the digital skills gap, rectifying the STEM shortage and ensuring the young people of today are fully equipped for facing the future digital workplace.  We are fast progressing towards a ‘digital first’ nation and we need to ensure we are investing at the very beginning of the digital journey and developing the right skills to support the future digital economy.”

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