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iAMDigital fund launches to address digital skills crisis

iAMDigital fund launches to address digital skills crisis

Applications are open for a new fund launched to support new and established SMEs that are working to close the skills gap for young people.

Creative England and Nominet Trust are behind the £1million iAMDigital fund, which has a deadline of 7 November 2016 for initial expression of interest and 1st December 2016 for full application.

The fund will provide investment and support to organisations outside London, and within England, which are utilising the creative industries to help improve access to digital engagement and show positive social impact.

The aim of iAMDigital is to help improve the life chances of young people, by increasing their employability, while also supporting the growth of the creative industries by increasing and diversifying the talent pool outside London.

iAMDigital has been created to specifically address the digital skills gap identified by the House of Commons Science and Tech Select Committee in June, which found that the UK will need 745,000 additional workers with digital skills to meet rising demand from employers by 2017.

The fund will invest in scaleable SMEs, with investments ranging from £50,000 to £200,000 to assist in building their business capacity and ability to win contracts and secure further investment for growth. It will also measure the social impact of the ventures and identify learnings to inform future strategies for increasing digital engagement among marginalised groups.

Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Karen Bradley said:

“It’s vital everyone in the UK has the digital skills to succeed in a modern economy, create a society that works for all and help keep us competitive in a fast-changing world.

“This fund will help young people outside the capital get the skills they need to thrive. And, following our commitment to provide basic digital skills training to adults in England who need it, is another boost as we aim to equip the whole country with the tools for modern life.”


Editor’s note

This article now reflects the extended deadline for applications of 7 November 2016.

 

Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via www.thepurplepim.com.

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