Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) has joined over 140 other organisations working to close the UK’s digital skills gap.
FutureDotNow, bringing together local authorities as well as major employers such as BT, M&S, Nationwide BS and Accenture, is working to address the 17 million people in the UK who are without the essential digital skills for work, with only 23% having received digital skills training from their employer.
The move to join the FutureDot Now coalition will build on existing work in the city-region to tackle skills shortages and improve access to digital across Greater Manchester. GMCA has also granted £1.5 million to the 10 local authorities in the region to address local barriers to digital inclusion. Addressing the local digital skills gap is also a key focus of the Greater Manchester Digital Blueprint.
Eamonn Boylan, chief executive of GMCA, said:
I am proud to announce that GMCA has joined the FutureDotNow coalition to tackle the growing digital skills gap across Greater Manchester and beyond. In Greater Manchester we believe that everyone whatever their age, location, or situation, should be able to benefit from the opportunities digital brings and joining the coalition is an important step in ensuring this is the case.
“This pandemic has amplified the digital skills gap and the need for digital skills in life and work. We are looking forward to being a part of FutureDotNow to build collective action and drive change that supports our residents.”
Liz Williams MBE, FutureDotNow’s chief executive, said:
The workplace digital-skills crisis is holding back businesses and the economy. GMCA has set a clear ambition to become a world-leading digital city-region, and I’m delighted to welcome it to the FutureDotNow coalition. Together we will work with businesses across Greater Manchester to accelerate digital upskilling and ensure working- age adults are equipped with the essential digital skills vital for their future prosperity and to realise economic benefits for the region.”