New funds to boost diversity of people working in digital and tech jobs



People from underrepresented groups are set to be given new digital skills as part of a push to improve diversity in the digital economy and address local skills challenges. A new £1 million Digital Skills Innovation Fund is now open for bids from Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and Combined Authorities for initiatives which specifically aim to help people take up digital roles.Over £1 million will be available for initiatives which will help boost the digital skills of underrepresented groups and disabled people.

The funding will be used to help women, disabled people, people from minority backgrounds or those living in lower socioeconomic areas to succeed in digital roles such as data analysts, programmers, cyber security specialists, software developers and marketeers.

Research reveals 17 per cent of women make up the tech workforce and are underrepresented in the uptake of digital qualifications. Unemployed adults are five per cent more likely to lack the basic digital skills than the national average.

A new £400,000 Digital Inclusion Fund has also been launched to help older and disabled people acquire digital skills. Innovative projects are expected to include the teaching of basic skills such as booking GP appointments online, using apps to communicate with friends and family, and making the most of search engines.

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