£18.5 million to boost diversity in AI tech roles and innovation in online training for adults

The technology sector is set to benefit from a £18.5 million cash injection to drive up skills in AI and data science and support more adults to upskill and retrain to progress in their careers or find new employment. GOV.UK reports.

Up to 2,500 people will have the opportunity to retrain and become experts in data science and artificial intelligence (AI), thanks to a £13.5 million investment to fund new degree and Masters conversion courses and scholarships at UK academic institutions over the next three years.

£5 million is also being invested to encourage technology companies to develop cutting-edge solutions, utilising AI and automation, to improve the quality of online learning for adults. The ground-breaking Adult Learning Technology Innovation Fund, which will be launched in partnership with innovation foundation Nesta, will provide funding and expertise to incentivise tech firms to harness new technologies to develop bespoke, flexible, inclusive, and engaging online training opportunities to support more people into skilled employment.

To further strengthen the sector, Government is investing in data-driven technologies, such as artificial intelligence, through the modern Industrial Strategy, so tech businesses and people with the drive and talent can succeed. 

On the launch of the new Adult Learning Technology Innovation Fund, Education Secretary Damian Hinds said: “We all have busy lives, juggling work and family commitments so online courses are a great way for‎ more people to retrain or upskill and secure a rewarding career. Investing in cutting edge technologies such as AI will mean we can future proof the online learning experience and ensure it better meets students’ needs.”

Potential applicants to the AI and Data Conversion courses will hold a degree in other disciplines and scholarships will be made available to support applications from diverse backgrounds. This could include people returning to work after a career break and looking to retrain in a new profession, under-represented groups in the AI and digital workforce, including women and people from minority ethnic backgrounds, or lower socio-economic backgrounds.

Read more £18.5 million to boost diversity in AI tech roles and innovation in online training for adults

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