Programme working to address the UK’s AI skills gap

A partnership between Avado Learning and BT Group is to help transform the development of thousands of young people to address the UK’s skills gap

Avado and BT Group have announced a new series of FastFutures programmes to support 2,000 young adults from diverse and under-represented backgrounds gain critical employment skills as they transition from education to employment.

FastFutures, which was launched in 2020, has already supported over 6,000 young people to build their networks, gain experience, and accelerate their careers. Following its success, the next Fast Futures programmes this year will work to address the UK’s skills gap in AI and related technologies.  While the AI industry has potential to boost the UK economy by as much as 10% of GDP by 2030, according to research by the UK Government, 63% companies are either experiencing or foresee a related skills gap in their business in the next two years.

Bootcamps to help solve UK’s AI and technology skills gap

The Department for Education (DfE) has awarded Avado with the opportunity to deliver four critical skills bootcamps. Similarly, to FastFutures, these bootcamps will upskill adults aged 19+ by providing them with key in-demand skills in data literacy, data analysis and digital marketing. From October, these six-week programmes will help over 2,000 individuals gain the in-demand skills that companies need. Upon completing the programmes participants will also be able to interview with one of the companies in the Fast Futures Employer Network.

Adrian Joseph OBE, Chief Data and AI Officer, BT Group said: "Organisations across the UK are facing huge challenges in recruiting young talent into data and digital. At BT Group, we want to help drive a digital talent movement to benefit not just ourselves but the whole of the UK. 

“We’re proud to be the lead sponsor of FastFutures this year, and to have funded the development and delivery of the first bootcamp, in data analytics. So, we’re thrilled that the DfE has rewarded the commitment of these programmes to broadening the horizons of diverse young people, inspiring them, and providing practical support around careers in data and digital.”

Avado Delivery Director for FastFutures Natalie Pierre-Davis explained: "FastFutures has gained fantastic momentum since its inception. Now with the support of BT Group and a growing pool of employer partners taking up the opportunity to sponsor and input into each bootcamps design, we have gone from strength to strength.”

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