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Firms train UK veterans with digital skills to secure tech jobs

digital skills veterans
Photo of a british soldier in multicam camouflage tunic using pocket on black background.

Six major employers have signed a commitment to support retired veterans of the British armed forces to find work in the tech sector as the digital skills gap continues to make hiring a challenge.

The 15,000 Futures initiative will see major firms fill positions in the UK that require digital and tech skills with veteran servicemen and women once they have been provided relevant training.

Capita plc, Northrop Grumman, Atos, Leonardo UK, Fujitsu, and Leidos are the first six firms to join the pledge.

The programme was launched by the Australian startup WithYouWithMe, founded by a former platoon commander, Tom Moore, to simultaneously help veterans find meaningful employment and plug a gap in tech skills.

“We are delighted to have these first six companies join the 15,000 Futures initiative,” said Moore.

“The response from businesses across the UK has been overwhelming and we are confident that, with the significant commitment they have made, thousands of military veterans will have a more fulfilling career once their time in the military comes to an end.”

Digital skills gap

Firms in Britain have faced significant difficulties in hiring enough staff with vital digital abilities, in a nationwide issue commonly referred to as the digital skills gap.

The data has shown that a lack of workers proficient in modern technical skills is increasingly becoming a problem for businesses. AND Digital commissioned a study of the gap, which found 81% of managing directors in the country said a lack of digital skills was negatively affecting their company.

That same study found that more than half (58%) of employees across various sectors in the UK said they had received no digital training.

The government has launched several initiatives to combat the gap, including the scaleup visa scheme that allows high-skill tech workers from other countries to more easily find work in the UK.

The attempts to plug the gap that the government unveiled in its digital strategy last year have been criticised by some tech leaders for not going far enough.