Property company Bruntwood has invested £1.25m in Gary Neville’s University Academy 92 (UA92) higher education establishment in a bid to address the digital skills gap in the region.
The partnership will equip young people in the North West with industry skills and provide startups and businesses with access to local talent.
Located in Old Trafford, Manchester, UA92 is a joint venture between Lancaster University and the Class of ‘92, which includes former Manchester United football players Gary Neville, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, Nicky Butt and Phil Neville.
Opened in 2019, it provides courses in business, sport, media and digital.
Gary Neville, co-founder, UA92 said: “Bruntwood’s commitment to making real change in their communities, and their support of groundbreaking organisations, aligns perfectly with our ethos. This is a stellar opportunity for us to boost access to higher education for as many young people as possible across our region.”
Chris Oglesby, CEO, Bruntwood, said: “Greater Manchester is currently facing a digital skills shortage, and we want to help increase the pool of available talent and help our customers to gain access to the best and brightest the region has to offer.”
It comes as the UK faces a shortfall in the number of workers with digital skills. A government report published in 2021 found that 46% of businesses have struggled to recruit for roles requiring digital skills over the last two years.
Public and private sector partnerships are rolling out initiatives to address the skills gap. Earlier this month the West Midlands Combined Authority and Microsoft teamed up to bring digital skills to the region.
Bruntwood has been busy in the Manchester area recently, opening a £21m tech hub at Manchester Science Park and joining forces with investment bank GP Bullhound to birth angel investment network Manchester Angels.
This week saw Plexal launch its digital security accelerator for startups based in the North West of England.