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Fast Track Digital Workforce Fund

Fast Track Digital Workforce Fund

The Fast Track Digital Workforce Fund, which was developed to address locally identified digital skills gaps, is a joint venture between the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and Lancashire Digital Skills Partnership (LDSP).

The £3 million fund, which is the first of its kind in the UK, was set up to support both Greater Manchester and Lancashire residents with accessible routes into digital employment, specifically targeting disadvantaged groups and those underrepresented to help them get into digital roles.

Round 1

Round 1 has now concluded and we are excited to announce the five successful projects, which will help over 200 Greater Manchester residents gain employment in the tech sector:

Name of Project

Target Cohort

Skill Area

Tech Returners 'Your Journey into Tech' Returners to tech and career changers Software Development
Generation Disadvantaged 18-25 year olds Cloud Engineering
QA Underemployed graduates, career changers & returners to tech DevOps
Tech Manchester ‘Women in Linux’ Women in Hulme, Whalley Range, Fallowfield and Moss Side Linux Engineers
We are Digital Unemployed: working with First Choice Homes Oldham Digital Marketing

Round 2 

Round 2 has now concluded and we are excited to announce the 14 successful projects, which will help over 600 Greater Manchester and Lancashire residents gain employment in the tech sector:

Tech Equity- Tech Manchester, TAP, Heroworx & Malleable Mind, UKFast and M427

A ‘work readiness’ course for underemployed or unemployed women with a focus on black & ethnic minorities. The course includes three technical qualifications, organised with employer partners who have a significant requirement for junior network engineers.

DEEPer (Digital Engineering Education Programme)- Enterprise 4 All, Community & Business Partners CIC and Magma Digital

The Vision IT Programme will train PHP Developers meeting a specific technical skills gap and recruitment need in Lancashire. The programme is aimed at BAME Women, unemployed graduates, underemployed individuals, tech returners & career changers.

DevOpsSkills by The Open University and DXC Technology

A 20-week, part time training programme aligned to the skill sets required for entry level DevOps engineers, software engineers, support engineers and cloud administrators. The programme will be targeted at female career changers and returners wanting to enter the tech industry.

Cyber Ready North West- CompTIA and Novacoast

The Greater Manchester and Lancashire based course will prepare candidates for cyber roles e.g. Entry Level Security Analyst. The course is fully accessible to people in-work and has been developed to improve the diversity of the cyber talent pipeline by supporting returners to tech, low skilled, graduates, ex-armed forces, women, BAME individuals.

Raytheon Cyber Academy- Raytheon Professional Services with employer partners, Morson Projects, Salford Council, BUPA, Talk Talk and Sodexo

This project will deliver the core skills & knowledge essential for a cyber-security engineer including two technical qualifications combined with wider personal and professional skills. The project is offered in both full and part time options and has been developed with the aim of upskilling employees from existing IT roles and supporting women, over 50s, ex-armed forces and black & ethnic minorities into the cyber industry. 

All Digital- Reform Radio and All Studios

A 10 week intensive programme to enable unemployed young adults to break into careers in content creation & digital marketing. The programme has been developed to support young people aged 18-30 with a specific focus on women, as well as people from lower socio economic backgrounds & black & ethnic minorities.

Project Uplift- Burnley College

This programme will transition experienced manual workers into digital programming roles within the manufacturing sector. It is aimed at supporting people over the age of 50 who are either at risk or redundancy or those looking to change career.

Digital Data Specialists Academy- Salford University, Salford Council and BUPA

This programme will train 30 digital data specialists to address the lack of skilled data analysts across the public & private sectors.  The programme is aimed at women returning to the sector, black & ethnic minorities and unemployed graduates.

Power Up- West Lancashire College, Extraordinary Club, Innox Trading & Matrix Nutrition.  

Power Up is an intensive and immersive digital marketing bootcamp which will train participants to move in to jobs such as Digital Marketer, Web Copywriter and Social Media Marketer. The bootcamp is targeted at supporting unemployed graduates aged 21 – 34.

IN4. 0 Talent Academy 

The Academy will teach STEM graduates to apply data science, cyber-security and cloud-based computing skills and how to apply and contextualize these skills to the manufacturing sector. Participants will be prepared for jobs such as Digital Graduate Engineer, Data Engineer, Graduate Data Scientist, Systems Engineer, Data Analyst, IoT Engineer

The Stockport Digital Academy- Stockport Council, MadLab & Stockport College

The Stockport Digital Academy is a 12-week full time programme training individuals at the start of their career to succeed in a junior software developer and similar related technical roles. The Academy will support unemployed college Leavers and care Leavers.

Short Form Content Creation Transition Course- Sharp Futures and ITV

An online 8-20 week training course to upskill unemployed or low paid residents for short-form content creation roles e.g. as content producers. The course will support people out of work or in low paid work with a particular focus on people with disabilities, workers in retail/hospitality & freelancers who need to broaden their skill base to gain additional work.

Additive and Digital Manufacturing- Made Smarter, Manchester Metropolitan University and Fabricon Design Ltd

This 12 day course will provide manufacturing employees with a solid grounding in all aspects of addictive manufacturing. Enabling progression into better paid roles e.g. AM Technician, AM Design Engineer.  The course will work with companies with a need to upskill employees to realise productivity benefits, with a particular focus on supporting women to enter the STEM industries.

Tech Lancaster- Milliamp Technologies

Tech Lancaster will support candidates towards roles such as Design Engineer to meet the need for digitisation in the Lancaster Electronics industry. The course is focused on supporting Ex-armed forces personal, graduates and underemployed groups.

Read more about the fund

Read our Fast Track case studies