Saturday, 08 October 2016 21:56

£1million iAMDigital Fund Launched to address digital skills gap

Creative England - Launches new Digital Skills Fund Creative England - Launches new Digital Skills Fund

The North West could benefit from a £1 Million investment fund that has been launched by Creative England and Nominet Trust to support new and established SMEs working to close the digital skills gap for young people currently excluded from our digital-by-default society.

The fund has been set up to address the need of the half a million 16-24 year olds who lack even basic IT skills, in a economy that see digital skills as a necessity, with almost 90% of new jobs requiring some degree of ability.

According to the Office National Statistics, 72% of employers wouldn’t interview a candidate without these skills. This digital skills crisis is even more acute in regions outside London, where in some instances, people are over 20% more likely to lack the understanding they need to utilise digital technology.

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

The new fund has been devised to provide investment and support to organisations outside London, and within England, who are utilising the creative industries to help create accessible pathways to digital engagement and evidence positive social impact.

iAMDigital specifically addresses 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, equating to a crisis that is costing the UK £63bn a year.

The fund brings together Creative England’s expertise and understanding of creative ecosystems and Nominet Trust’s detailed understanding of digital engagement and social impact. The partnership will enable the programme to identify and unearth innovative models for ensuring that the benefits of the digital economy are available to all young people.


Applications are now open, with a deadline of 27th October 2016 for initial expression of interest and 1st December 2016 for full application.

See the iamdigital website for more details.

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