Leeds-based social enterprise Ahead Partnership has launched a new careers initiative designed to inspire young talent pursuing roles in the digital sector across Leeds City Region.
In a launch event at Hippo Campus in Leeds, Ahead Partnership brought together 60 representatives from organisations across the public and private sectors to introduce their latest scheme. #AheadinDigital will see digital sector employers from businesses of all sizes unite with a joint ambition to deliver messages that inspire and promote understanding about digital career opportunities amongst school and college students.
With a UK-wide skills gap in the digital sector and a considerable 14,000 vacancies available for digital professionals over the last year in Leeds City Region alone, the innovative careers initiative is a timely effort to attract talent, increase diversity and fulfil future sector demand.
The new #AheadinDigital scheme will be designed by Ahead Partnership and delivered through a wide array of careers and experiential activities over the course of the academic year. Ahead Partnership will help to put on interactive panel sessions, networking tasters and cross-school digital events, and also offer the opportunity for individual organisations to have a bespoke initiative created to meet their specific business needs, ranging from branded enterprise challenges to work experience schemes.
Stephanie Burras CBE, Chief Executive of Ahead Partnership, said: “The digital sector is facing difficulty in trying to attract the skilled workforce it needs and therefore we are bringing together many innovative businesses with a single collective aim – to provide a clearer message that has a greater impact upon the sector’s workforce pipeline.
“#AheadinDigital will be a collaborative scheme, equally beneficial to employers and young people alike, that engages students and encourages them to think about the opportunities in the digital sector, whilst providing employers with the chance to raise their profile and take a necessary step forwards in tackling industry concerns.”
Stuart Clarke, Director of Leeds Digital Festival added: “The digital economy in Leeds has grown rapidly in previous years, and one of the city’s biggest strengths is in the diversity of the tech businesses that have made it their home. There are lots of smaller, exciting digital businesses that have emerged over the last few years, as well as the larger corporates such as Sky and BJSS, who have a big digital presence in the city.
“#AheadinDigital is extremely important as it seeks to bring all of the city’s digital businesses together, both big and small, to ensure that we improve access to digital jobs for all and support increased diversity within digital sector.
“We’ve been delighted to support Ahead Partnership’s #FinProLCR event as part of Leeds Digital Festival in previous years and the launch of this new scheme marks a big step towards increased cross-sector collaboration around this important issue.”