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October 24, 2017

Cisco tackles digital skills gap with education programme

Cisco aims to close the digital skills gap by launching two new programmes, giving training.

By April Slattery

Cisco is launching a new initiative designed to help develop digital skills across the UK.

The company has announced it has launched new programmes that aim to train 250,000 UK residents by 2020 in digital skills, from children and teachers to adults.

Two programmes have been announced, the first training teachers and children in schools across the country and the second to provide digital skills training within libraries.

Cisco’s first programme aims to help teachers effectively deliver computing programmes within school curriculums, by giving them the right training and resources. Everything from basic computer literacy training, to cyber security will be taught in partnership with the Open University.

The school programme is accessible to anyone including 8.5million school children, from the age of five aiming to help children develop across all key stages. Within the programme, E-Safety is a main focus of the agenda covering safety and responsible use.

A second programme from Cisco is aimed at providing digital skills training for UK libraries. Cisco will begin the initiative in the City of Manchester, across 22 libraries.

Courses ranging from the basics of getting online, to providing an introduction to IoT and cyber security will be readily available and free to access for residents across the City. After launching in Manchester, Cisco plans to deliver the programme across other cities in the UK in 2018.

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Cisco tackles digital skills gap with education programme

Both school children & adults can use the programmes

Karen Bradley, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, said: “I’m delighted that Cisco will provide free training for 250,000 people as part of the Digital Skills Partnership. This is in addition to the 200,000 people they have already helped in UK through their Networking Academy.

“As part of our Digital Strategy the partnership with industry is helping to strengthen our world-leading digital sectors right across the country to ensure growth in every region.”

Each programme will be built around three principles; providing access to the skills needed, ensure the opportunity is available to everyone and use Cisco’s networks to help as many people as possible.

Cisco’s Networking Academy commissioned the two new programmes, which make up part of Cisco’s on-going collaboration with the government in a digital skills partnership.

The partnership, led by the government, aims to bring together companies in the technology sector with local companies, local councils, charities and other organisations to work collaboratively and share skills and knowledge to close the skills gap.

Scot Gardener, CEO Cisco UK & Ireland, said: “The future competitiveness of the UK will be determined by our commitment as a nation and as employers, to ensure that we have the skills required for a thriving digital economy. The commitment that we make today is based on our belief that everyone should have access to the right training, when they need it.”

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Cisco’s CEO believes joining with the education sector will help close that gap with the right training from experts, as the programme aims to bring the necessary skills and benefit individuals, communities and businesses across the UK.

Gardner said: “The education system alone cannot be expected to keep up with the increasing skills gap, but if we as technology leaders and future employers partner with government and education to address the opportunity now, we can ensure that the UK cements its place as a digital leader.”

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