C!TECH LONDON ADVOCATES LAUNCHES EDUCATION RESOURCE HUB TO ENABLE SCHOOLS, YOUNG PEOPLE AND PARENTS TO ACCESS DIGITAL SKILLS
Platform will collate educational resources from UK’s diverse edtech ecosystem in one central portal for the first time
Initiative from the UK’s largest private sector tech community to provide support for individuals looking to learn digital skills or re-skill during economic crisis
London – 1st July 2020 – Tech London Advocates, the UK’s leading independent network of tech leaders, has launched an Education Resource Hub that is mapping the digital skills ecosystem in the UK and will collate information, advice and resources for educators, young people, parents and employers looking to access digital skills.
At a time when unemployment is reaching record levels, young people are faced with a bleak employment landscape and schools and parents are having to adapt to remote learning, the TLA Education Resource Hub harnesses the world-class expertise of the British edtech and digital skills community to improve the quality of digital skills in the British workforce.
The UK has one of the most active edtech sectors in the world – estimated to be worth £3.4bn by 2021 – along with a wide range of outstanding digital skills initiatives, academic institutions and providers. However, until now access to digital skills has been fragmented.
For the first time, the TLA Education Working Group, part of Tech London Advocates which includes more than 9,000 tech leaders, experts and investors, has worked with edtech providers to provide a centralised repository for those looking develop digital skills at all stages of their careers.
Highly regarded educational organisations such as Founders4Schools, Digital Boost, Code First Girls, Teen Tech, Decoded, Tech Will Save Us, WhiteHat, Makers Academy, UK Blacktech, ADA College, Firefly Learning, Stemettes, Good things Foundation and UpSkill Digital are featured in the hub, offering advice and resources. The collaboration between such esteemed industry platforms is testament to the urgency of the need to address the digital skills shortfall in the UK.
Last year alone, the Office for National Statistics revealed that 10% of the UK population had no digital skills. With workers operating remotely and digital playing a greater role in citizen’s day-to-day lives, those without the necessary skills will suffer further disadvantages.
To help address this in the context of growing unemployment, the TLA Education Resource Hub will feature courses and apprenticeships designed to help improve UK citizens’ digital skills. The Education Resource Hub will also offer practical advice and guidance to schools and parents navigating areas such as homeschooling.
The online portal will also include articles and practical advice from the experts that make up the TLA community, to go alongside opportunities for those looking to boost their digital skills during these challenging times. You can find a link to the TLA Education Hub here.
Russ Shaw, Founder, Tech London Advocates & Global Tech Advocates, comments: “As we navigate through the pandemic, providing digital learning opportunities will be a priority for businesses and the government, to help the public and employees thrive in what is undoubtedly becoming an increasingly technology-driven world.
“The success of edtech companies and the adoption of their services by the UK population is testament to the appetite for virtual learning, accelerated by Covid-19. Now is the time to ensure that we are teaching future generations the skills that will prepare them for the digital workplace.
“The TLA Education Resource Hub is a fantastic and timely initiative, which will connect thousands of families and businesses alike to the support and guidance they need to ensure they don’t miss out on crucial learning and develop relevant skills in the process.”
Jo Tasker, Managing Director, Jo Tasker Consulting and co-lead of TLA Education Group, Comments: “The UK has everything it needs to create a workforce equipped with the digital skills required to meet the continued demand for tech jobs across the country. However, digital skills courses, digital apprenticeships and edtech tools are hard to find for those unfamiliar with the sector. The TLA Education Resource Hub aims to bring all of the programmes offered in the UK in one place for the first time.
“To drive the economic recovery, we need to give schools, young people, parents and employers access to the resources they need as quickly and simply as possible. That’s why we’re making resources, advice and practical guidance about how to develop digital skills accessible and easy to understand.”
Ty Goddard, Chair, Edtech UK, comments: “I really like the Tech London Advocates Education Resource Hub – connecting and mobilising these superb worlds of tech and education. EdTech is a powerful and creative tool to support teachers and learners.
“This vibrant hub is full of positive resources that point us forward to smashing the silos that hold us back, stifle job creation and growth across London and the UK.”
Mark Martin, founder of UKBlackTech and teacher at South Bank Engineering UTC, comments: “These are incredibly challenging times for schools, young people and parents alike as they navigate lockdown, remote learning and economic disruption. Digital skills can unlock the employment market for young people, as well as improve the learning experience through digital channels. People need simple, accessible solutions and the TLA Education Resource Hub will be massively appreciated by educators and young people.”
Sherry Coutu, founder of Workfinder and Founders4Schools, comments: “The UK has outstanding academic institutions, digital skills academies, initiatives and programmes as well as a wide range of tech leaders committed to supporting young people. However, all too often this network is too disparate. I support anything that brings together the ecosystem to improve digital skills for young people across the country.”
Euan Blair, co-founder and CEO, WhiteHat, comments: “Skills training in digital and tech will be an essential part of our economic recovery because the lockdown has led to twin challenges: young people looking for work and employers needing those skills more than ever. By widening access to the best opportunities and resources, a more diverse and representative group of people can grasp the benefits of apprenticeships in these critical sectors. That way we will both power the recovery and ensure we’re taking real action to tackle social mobility.”
Bethany Koby, founder, Tech Will Save Us, comments: “Digital skills have never been more important or more diverse to young people across the country. Technology jobs are available despite the economic crisis and young people need to ensure they are developing the skills for the digital employment landscape as early as possible. I hope the TLA Education Resource Hub will empower parents and young people to access digital skills and understand the incredible initiatives and programmes available to them.”
Maggie Philbin, founder of TeenTech, comments: “Young people are facing unprecedented challenges when looking for employment after education. The tech sector offers very attractive career prospects and demand for tech jobs remains high, but students, teachers and parents aren’t always aware of the digital and personal skills which are most valued or how to gain them. With the right skills, young people can realise their full potential and we need to make sure they have access to the learning platforms and opportunities they need.”
About Tech London Advocates
Tech London Advocates (TLA) is a private sector led coalition of over 9,000 expert individuals from the tech sector and broader community who have committed to championing London’s potential as a world-class hub for tech and digital businesses. It strives to support London’s tech start-ups and high-growth businesses in finding new investment, new talent and continued success.
The TLA Education working group is led by Jo Tasker, along with Ade Awokoya and Jules Wix. Mark Martin, Founder of UK Blacktech, advises the working group.
TLA is supported by a range of commercial partners, including Shoosmiths, Lakestar, Hiscox, Penningtons Manches Cooper, CENTI, Beringea, Interxion, Credit Suisse, KPMG, Russell Reynolds and Here East.
The organisation is part of Global Tech Advocates, which has 16 networks around the world of over 14,000 tech professionals, spanning six continents and 50 countries. The group works together to drive collaboration, innovation and trade between international tech hubs.
HP is a global partner for Global Tech Advocates.