As the battle against the UK’s digital skills gap continues, members of the tech community have announced a new fund, the Tech City Fellowship, to give young non-graduates access to vocational digital skills training.
The educational fund will provide loans for 18 to 25-year-olds to take part in digital courses, including some spaces on coding bootcamp Makers Academy. It will also guarantee a number of junior developer jobs and internships with London tech businesses.
The Fellowship is the result of collaboration between Makers Academy, platform provider ProFinda, fintech company StudentFunder and the Connecting Tech City initiative.
The scheme, which will pilot in January 2015, is financed by an initial capital commitment from ProFinda and hopes to attract further investment from VCs and tech companies.
Through the Tech City Fellowship, non-graduates will have access to loans of up to £11,600 per student which covers £8,000 of fees and £1,200 per month living costs.
Fixing the skills gap
The Fellowship hopes to be a solution to the well-documented skills problem in the UK.
The organisation says in East London it is having to address an even bigger issue – “the growing skills gap in the digital sector juxtaposed with higher than average youth unemployment in the boroughs surrounding East London’s digital centre”.
Speaking about the initiative, Jess Tyrrell, Director of the Connecting Tech City programme explained:
This exciting new initiative will enable talented young Londoners who do not otherwise have the funds, to develop the very latest programming skills and access high quality jobs.
There has been a huge amount of talk recently about the skills gap holding back British tech, with two notable developments taking place last week.
The scale-up report, released by investor and entrepreneur Sherry Coutu, revealed there were approximately 990,000 open positions in high-growth tech startups in July 2014 in the UK.
It was followed by Tech City UK’s announcement of the Digital Business Academy, a collection of free online digital skills courses focusing on the business development, marketing and finance aspects of working in a tech business.