Sage’s £1.4m investment in the North East to tackle digital skills gap hailed as “transformational” by HM Treasury

The chief secretary to the Treasury has welcomed the landmark investment by Sage, the leader in accounting, financial, HR and payroll technology for small and mid-sized businesses, hailing the “transformational” three-year programme which will transform 90,000 young lives in the North East over the next five years.

Sage’s partnerships with Newcastle United Foundation and the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) aim to make Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) careers a “new reality for school children, teenagers, and young adults through inspiring learning experiences”.

A third partnership with the National Innovation Centre for Data based at Newcastle University will provide Computer Science students with opportunities to solve real-world problems with a focus on using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning.

As of February 2021, the North East technology sector was the biggest hiring sector in the region with a healthy pipeline of start-ups and fast-growing tech businesses. However, according to the Industrial Strategy Council, the UK’s supply of skills, particularly technology and people skills, will “struggle to keep up with increased demand” over the next decade.

Sage’s learning programmes will provide simulated experiences of jobs and careers, and interactive STEM learning via FIRST© LEGO© League, to train the next generation of regional workers, innovators, and business leaders.

Simon Clarke MP, Chief Secretary to the Treasury said: “This transformational investment in the North East will help 90,000 young people get the skills they need to pursue successful digital careers. We know that jobs based on digital skills boost pay by an average of £8,000 a year.

“Providing people with a better chance at getting those jobs is how we build a high skill, high productivity economy with opportunities for all.”

Paul Struthers, MD, UKI, Sage: “’Whether you want to start your own business or play a role in one, digital skills are essential to business success. Sage is committed to knocking down barriers by addressing the digital skills gap to empower people to join and build the businesses of the future.

“We want to inspire and support more young people to develop STEM skills, and together with our partners we will help tackle this challenge; unlocking the extraordinary potential of the region and ensuring we have a strong pipeline of regional talent.”

Credit: Bdaily

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