The Prince’s Trust’s Future Workforce Fund initiative, in partnership with Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), is launching three new digital projects for Greater Manchester young people.

The projects are running through the Digital Futures Fund, which supports the digital strategy for Greater Manchester and seeks to recruit, engage and progress young people into the growing tech sector in the region.

The expansion of the tech sector in Greater Manchester has created the largest digital and creative cluster in the UK outside of London, and with it a wealth of opportunities for young people. Over the course of 2021, Digital Futures Fund projects will provide training and support to enable hundreds of young people aged 16-25 to make their first steps into their future careers.  

The digital opportunities will support young people from under-represented groups, who often find it more difficult to access and sustain digital jobs, such as young women, young people from BAME backgrounds, young people with disabilities and those with English as their second language.

Three partners, all with a different offer for young people, were successfully commissioned by The Prince’s Trust and will deliver digital projects throughout 2021.

Generation UK will be running a mixture of 12-week and five-week bootcamps to support young people into careers within cloud engineering and customer service. The courses are an immersive experience and will focus on giving young people everything they need to sustain roles within the sector.

We Are Digital empowers people to enrich lives and communities across the country, through positive, innovative and practical solutions to break down barriers to exclusion. They will be delivering Digital Boost Youth, 12-week digital marketing courses, supporting participants into this fast-growing area of work.

Young Manchester and partners, including Hive Learning and Greater Manchester Youth Network, will be running Digital People, an innovative partnership project that equips young people furthest from employment opportunities with the most in-demand digital skills. Over the course of three to six months, participants will achieve qualifications in; programming, networks, cloud, cyber, data and IT.

GMCA Employment, Skills and Digital Lead, Councillor Sean Fielding, said: “In Greater Manchester we want everyone whatever their age, location, or situation, to be able to feel empowered and have their lives bettered from the opportunities digital can bring.

“The Digital Futures Fund was set up to help diversify the talent pipeline into the digital industry and address the digital skills shortage across Greater Manchester. These exciting new programmes will support under-represented groups in Greater Manchester who have been hardest hit by this pandemic to gain valuable skills and support to gain get a foot on the ladder in our thriving digital industry”

Andrew Ridge, Deputy Director for the North at The Prince’s Trust said: “We’re proud to be working in partnership with Greater Manchester Combined Authority to help hundreds of young people in the region build their careers in the tech and digital sectors. We’re especially committed to supporting young people who face additional barriers getting into the tech industry develop the essential skills, confidence and experience they need to succeed.”

If you are an employer and would like to find out more about how you can support these projects, or a young person who would like to take part, visit our Digital Futures Fund page to find out more and contact the delivery organisations directly via email.