Government funding for boosting under-represented groups in digital | DMA

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Government funding for boosting under-represented groups in digital


It’s the first day of the new parliamentary term and already the government announcements are coming thick and fast.

The first is for a £1 million scheme to help under-represented groups compete for jobs in the digital sector through skills development programmes. A further £400,000 will be spent on helping disabled and elderly people develop digital skills too.

As the DMA has long argued, creating greater diversity in the digital sector is a crucial step for its growth. The fact is, if people from different backgrounds are included in the digital industry, it will be ensured that any tech, AI or other developments cater for as wide an audience as possible. Not only is this the right thing to do, it is the most commercially beneficial. A wider audience means greater sales.

Minister for Digital Margot James said of the programme:

"It is crucial everyone is able to take advantage of digital technology, whether it is to learn how to use the internet or develop the skills to work in a tech role. If we want to maintain our position as a world-leading digital economy we need to work with industry, local authorities and the voluntary sector to develop solutions so no-one is left behind."

DMA Talent runs regular neurodiversity training, which helps those with Asperger’s or other conditions develop digital skills. Similarly, DMA Talent’s programmes always seek to gain participants from as wide a range of backgrounds as possible through making the programmes entirely free for all.

This funding is a welcome step in the right direction. Going forward, much more will need to be invested by government and industry to ensure diversity is achieved and the right thing is done.

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