Last week, Tech City UK launched Digital Business Academy – the world’s first government supported programme to equip individuals with the necessary business skills to succeed in a digital world.
Our launch reception, held on Wednesday 19th was our opportunity to thank everyone who has been a part of transforming Digital Business Academy from concept to reality. A particular thanks went out first to our content partners; Cambridge University Judge Business School, University College London (UCL) and Founder Centric, and secondly to our 34 industry partners, including BBC, Twitter, Microsoft Ventures, Ogilvy, O2, Seedcamp and Codecademy, amongst many others.
It was an amazing day with our Chair, Baroness Joanna Shields, taking to the national airwaves to passionately speak about the importance of digital skills in a rapidly changing workplace. The programme was also endorsed by Prime Minister, who tweeted: providing world-class #digitalskills is a key part of our #LongTermEconomicPlan @techcityuk @tcuk_dba
On launch day alone we secured over 1,000 sign-ups – an incredible uptake and a clear reflection of the strong appetite in the UK for the training and tangible opportunities offered by the programme. In total we now have over 4,500 sign-ups, with over 1,500 already taking courses. With opportunities pledged from our dedicated reward partners for those that complete the courses, it is so positive to see real collaboration for the first time between giants of the tech sector and established educational institutions to create a roadmap to digital business success for anyone in the UK.
Sarah Wood, COO and co-founder of Unruly, one of the first reward partners to get on board, said: “It’s very exciting. The skills shortage in the UK is so acute, the Digital Business Academy has the potential to turbo-boost the digital sector across the UK. It’s a practical, real world solution and, best of all, it’s open and free to everyone.”
We’re particularly encouraged by the organic activity we have seen so far. Communities nationwide have got behind the platform on social media in remarkable fashion. Course participants have been sharing content they find interesting, providing feedback and engaging in collaborative conversation – there is a great sense of excitement that is inspiring to see.
Similar to the ways in which the online search function disrupted the traditional model of knowledge acquisition in the late 1990s, Digital Business Academy seeks to challenge traditional systems of education. We see free, open access to knowledge for all, as a model that can break down barriers and uncover new pools of talent.
From mums who wants to up-skill and rejoin the workforce, through to the established business owner who needs to adapt in a rapidly developing digital marketplace, the flexibility of online learning serves as an enabler to success.
The UK is leading by example in a new global movement towards the democratisation of digital education. We are on the cusp of a digital revolution and the foundations are in place to now unlock a new digitally equipped workforce.
With Digital Business Academy, you can get the skills you need to start, join or grow a digital business. Sign-up now.