According to the Office National Statistics, 72% of employers wouldn’t interview a candidate without these skills. This digital skills crisis is even more acute in regions outside London, where in some instances, people are over 20% more likely to lack the understanding they need to utilise digital technology.
iAMDigital will identify and invest in scaleable SMEs, with investments ranging from £50,000 to £200,000, assisting in building their business capacity and ability to win contracts and secure further investment for growth. It will measure the social impact of the ventures and identify learning to inform future strategies for increasing digital engagement amongst marginalised groups.
The new fund has been devised to provide investment and support to organisations outside London, and within England, who are utilising the creative industries to help create accessible pathways to digital engagement and evidence positive social impact.
iAMDigital specifically addresses the digital skills gap identified by the House of Commons Science and Tech Select Committee in June, which found that the UK will need 745,000 additional workers with digital skills to meet rising demand from employers by 2017, equating to a crisis that is costing the UK £63bn a year.
The fund brings together Creative England’s expertise and understanding of creative ecosystems and Nominet Trust’s detailed understanding of digital engagement and social impact. The partnership will enable the programme to identify and unearth innovative models for ensuring that the benefits of the digital economy are available to all young people.
Applications are now open, with a deadline of 27th October 2016 for initial expression of interest and 1st December 2016 for full application.
See the iamdigital website for more details.