DIGITAL employers from Aberdeen recently joined forces with other forward-thinking businesses across the country through a nationwide online careers festival designed to inspire the future of digital talent at a time when UK businesses are facing significant digital skills gaps.
Forming part of the Growing Talent Digital programme delivered by Ahead Partnership and funded by the John Lewis Partnership Community Investment Fund, high-profile employers including Sky, the British Library, Jet2, Barclays and Network Rail were among the organisations that came together for the festival.
Supporting the future workforce pipeline, the week of interactive virtual workshops, Q&A panels and guest speaker slots engaged a total of 1,979 12-16 year-olds with the vast scope of careers available and the integral role that digital plays across numerous industries today.
The inspiring activities took place from 24-28 January 2022 and included designing apps, imagining the cars of the future and exploring the role of technology in waste management. Creating a real impact, student feedback suggested that 97% of the young people that took part increased their understanding of working in the digital sector.
Stephanie Burras CBE, Chief Executive at Ahead Partnership, commented:
“The fact that so many employers from such a broad range of industries came together for the festival shows that investing in digital talent is a big priority for businesses across the country right now. It also pays testament to the private sector’s dedication to helping young people get onto the career ladder and succeed in their respective industries.
“Having engaged young people with career opportunities for over fifteen years, we know that many students have the skills and drive required to thrive in digital careers, and by providing employer connections like this we can raise awareness of opportunity and provide a catalyst for young people to act upon their aspirations.”
A John Lewis Partnership spokesperson said:
“At the John Lewis Partnership, we’re thrilled to have been able to support Ahead Partnership’s 2022 Digital Skills festival. We are proud to support an initiative which inspires future generations to work in the rapidly growing digital industry, that will provide key roles in workplaces of the future, in retail and beyond.”
Coming together for the UK festival were local and national employers Get Nourished; Sky; Horiba Mira; Cox Auto; Framestore; WSP; Salesforce; Sumo Digital; Topolytics; the British Library; Netcompany; Infinity Works; Barclays; Comms Scope; Mobility Operations; IBM; Jet 2; BJSS; Cyberfort Group; and Network Rail.
The festival forms part of the wider two-year Growing Talent Digital programme which is being rolled-out across Aberdeen; Birmingham; Peterborough; Chester; York; Sheffield; Tunbridge Wells; Ashford; and Basingstoke.
This investment is also funding a Growing Talent Green programme, kicking off with a week-long Growing Talent Green Festival commencing 27 June 2022. This programme will focus on emerging careers and skills opportunities in the green industry, bringing young people together with business volunteers in green jobs across a range of industries to demonstrate how young people can play their part in creating a more sustainable future for the UK economy. Schools and employers interested in taking part in this upcoming festival event or wider Growing Talent Digital or Green programmes can express their interest by visiting Ahead Partnership’s website.