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Young people to be inspired by exciting new two-year digital careers initiative

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With digital skills shortages linked to one in five of all vacancies[2], young people across Aberdeen; Peterborough; Tunbridge Wells; Chester; York; Sheffield; Ashford; Birmingham; and Basingstoke are set to be inspired by the many future career opportunities available in digital through an exciting new two-year programme delivered by social enterprise Ahead Partnership.

Funded by the John Lewis Partnership Community Investment Fund, Growing Talent Digital will equip local students with the knowledge and confidence to pursue rewarding careers in areas likely to see considerable growth in years to come.

Local and national employers including Sky; Sumo Digital; Accenture; Framestore; Nourished; and Cyberfort Group will be directly involved in the design and delivery of engaging in-person and virtual activities and resources, including careers panels; speed networking; meet-the-employer events; employer profile videos; and parent/career events.

Students will also come together to take part in the Growing Talent Digital Festival, an exciting week of guest speeches, panels and interactive workshops, from 24-28 January 2022.

With 72% of large companies and 49% of SMEs suffering tech skill gaps[3], Growing Talent Digital is a timely initiative that will help support the future of the workplace and the economy by engaging young people with opportunities in the sector over the next two years.

Local schools and employers of all sizes and sectors, from SMEs to global firms, are invited to join the efforts and express their interest in the initiative via Ahead Partnership’s website.

Stephanie Burras CBE, chief executive at Ahead Partnership, a social enterprise that works with businesses of different sizes and sectors to design and deliver social value projects that create positive change within society, said:

“The digital sector is growing at scale and pace and the number of roles that now involve digital skills is significant, making it absolutely vital that our young people are equipped to face the future and have a clear understanding of the many opportunities available to them.

“By connecting local and national employers with students, we can collaboratively support as many young people as possible to pursue rewarding career pathways in digital, while also making an important intervention to tackle skills shortages and help future-proof the workforce. We welcome forward-thinking employers of all sizes and sectors to come forward and get involved in the programme.”

Karen McLoughlin, Vice President, Group Director of HR, at Sumo Group plc, added:

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“We’re really pleased to be working with Ahead Partnership on this timely and meaningful initiative, set to make a real impact on young people across the local area.

“The digital sector has incredible potential for growth, and it’s the responsibility of businesses like ours to ensure that young people are tapped-into some of the great opportunities available to them in the future of this exciting industry. Collaborating with other organisations through Growing Talent Digital will enable us to make an even bigger impact, and we’re looking forward to getting started.”

The targeted activities taking place across Aberdeen; Peterborough; Tunbridge Wells; Chester; York; Sheffield; Ashford; Birmingham; and Basingstoke form a national programme which aims to support young people to make informed choices about their career pathways.

Ahead Partnership: Ahead Partnership is a purpose-driven social enterprise that has been working with a wide range of businesses across different sizes and sectors. Over the last 15 years, the organisation has delivered social value projects that help overcome inequality, promote opportunity, and deliver positive change within society.

The team is headquartered in Leeds but operates nationally, developing and delivering innovative programmes and partnership solutions to help address specific societal needs. Work to date has focused upon delivering schemes and helping organisations across sectors including the built environment, digital and technology, transport, professional services, and many other key industries to tackle inequality, strengthen communities, support enterprise and develop skills.

By working in partnership with businesses, the public and community partners, including public and private sector organisations such as local enterprise partnerships, local authorities, and businesses such as PwC, Arup and Landsec, Ahead Partnership’s work aims to support the creation of a successful, resilient society where everyone, regardless of their background, can succeed.

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