£5.75m programme to invest in equipping adults for jobs of the future

Melanie May | 16 October 2019 | News

Nesta and the Department for Education (DfE) have launched the CareerTech Challenge: a £5.75 million programme to find products and services that will equip adults across England with the necessary tools and skills to find employment in the future.
According to Nesta, one fifth of UK workers are currently in occupations that will be affected by automation over the next 10 to 15 years. The CareerTech Challenge, formerly the Adult Learning Technology Innovation Fund, is seeking solutions to help people working in England aged 24 to 65, without a degree and earning less than £35,000 per year.
It consists of two parts:

Both are now open, and applications for the Fund close on 9 December 2019 with entries for the Prize closing on 29 January 2020.
Vicki Sellick, Nesta’s Executive Director of Programmes, said:

“As the world of work transforms, it is crucial that people feel confident in understanding what jobs will be available in the future in their local area and how to learn the skills to secure them.
“Technology offers a variety of exciting ways to equip people with the knowledge and tools to plan for secure and rewarding careers and improve working lives for people across England.”

The CareerTech Challenge will support the development of the government’s National Retraining Scheme, and launch on the same day that the DfE announces the roll-out of the first part of the scheme, Get Help to Retrain, to three further areas. The Scheme will help prepare adults for the future changes to the economy, including those brought about by automation, and help them retrain into better jobs. The National Retraining Scheme is being developed and rolled out in stages, with a series of products being built and tested in parallel. The complete National Retraining Scheme service will be available for eligible adults in 2022.
Education Minister, Michelle Donelan, added:

“The CareerTech Challenge is a fantastic opportunity for innovators looking to put their ideas into action on a national scale.
“Everyone deserves access to high-quality teaching and, thanks to new technologies such as automation and Artificial Intelligence, there is potential to drastically improve the quality of online learning for adult students.
“Investing in cutting edge technologies demonstrates our ongoing commitment to adult education and we hope it will encourage more adults to retrain and upskill in future.”


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