Mayor of London tackles tech diversity with £7m initiative

DataIQ News

London mayor Sadiq Khan is bolstering his efforts to develop the next generation of digital talent by handing out £7m in funding to address the industry’s lack of diversity and insufficient digital skills to meet the country’s needs.

The programme, part of the mayor’s Skills for Londoners scheme, will provide free digital skills training for more than 1,000 young people, with a particular focus on young women and black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) Londoners.

It will also feature a “Digital Pioneers” marketing campaign that highlights careers in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) fields in order to create more role models.

In addition, the programme aims to train 400 education providers in digital skills.

Khan said: “We need to provide all Londoners with the opportunity to succeed in this industry, particularly women and Londoners of a BAME background who have been under-represented in these fields for too long. By investing in this new programme and funding free digital skills training, we can encourage more young people to consider a career in tech and fulfill their potential.”

The programme is being co-funded by London Enterprise Panel and the European Social Fund, has also received backing from Bloomberg, Google and Amazon, who will also participate in a careers fair that will allow them to network with young people interested in tech careers.

Last month, Khan announced a £25m scheme to fund education and training facilities at further education colleges and other providers across the capital.