Launch of government and industry backed digital qualifications

The Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey has announced details of new short courses, designed to improve digital skills across the workforce, in a jointly supported scheme by the government and digital industry leaders.

The short courses will provide intensive training with the latest content required for digital business skills and provide an industry accreditation, as to create a recognisable universal standard of digital skills.

The government expects that digital qualifications to provide a range of digital skills necessary in the developing digital economy and deliver sufficient technical training to fill the one million vacancies expected in the digital sector over the next ten years.

Companies including Accenture, ARM, BT, Cisco, Fujitsu, Google, IBM, Oracle, Quicksilva, Tata Consultancy Services, Telefonica (O2), BBC, Direct Line Group, HMRC, Jaguar Land Rover, Lowe and Partners, National Grid, Network Rail, Save the Children, Equanimity UK Ltd and Royal Mail have all said they will support the digital qualifications.

Speaking at the launch of the Tech Partnership at IBM, Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey said the qualifications represent a “partnership with academia and industry to ensure that education and training routes are providing the skills which employers need now and in the future”.

Reflecting on the government’s digital programme, he said “we have already put coding into the school curriculum and our rollout of superfast broadband, backed by over £1 billion government investment in our digital infrastructure, has now passed more than 1.5 million homes and businesses and is reaching 40,000 more each week.”

Tech Partnership board member and Capgemini UK Chairman, Christine Hodgson, said, “the government’s support for this new route into employment will enable young people to build the academic and practical skills needed for success in the tech sector and will help create the talent needed to boost the digital economy”.

The scheme will start with pilot short courses in website development, available from April 2015. The courses are targeted at companies who want to improve their workforce skills or improve their own digital programmes, those individuals wanting to move into digital business careers and those wanting to start their own businesses within the digital sector or with a digital aspect.

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