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Birkbeck partners with The Hg Foundation to boost digital skills development

The partnership will be implemented through The Access to Digital Skills and Careers Programme, designed to create pathways to digital and technology careers for Birkbeck students, particularly for underrepresented groups.

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Birkbeck is delighted to announce its partnership with The Hg Foundation, a grant-giving charity with a focus on removing barriers to education and skills in technology. 

This collaboration aims to enhance the digital skills of Birkbeck's mature learners, preparing them for future employment opportunities in the digital and technology sectors.  

Professor David Latchman CBE, Vice-Chancellor of Birkbecksaid: “We are delighted this partnership will help to scale the impact of the Access to Digital Skills and Careers Programme. Since our founding in 1823, we have served a diverse and ambitious community by providing a place to thrive and transform lives through education. It is imperative that we equip our students, many of whom are mature learners, with the digital skills to succeed in an increasingly competitive and evolving technology sector. Our partnership with The Hg Foundation and The Access Foundation ensures we can focus on long-term outcomes for students, our local communities, and the wider economy.” 

James Turner, CEO, The Hg Foundation, said: "Birkbeck's commitment to social mobility and lifelong learning mirrors the vision of The Hg Foundation. We are thrilled to partner to bridge the digital skills gap among mature learners and those from less advantaged backgrounds and to encourage more to pursue careers in the technology sector." 

The partnership will be implemented through the Access to Digital Skills and Careers Programme (ADSCP), designed to create pathways to digital and technology careers for Birkbeck students, particularly for underrepresented groups. 

The ADSCP consists of three key pillars: a Career Accelerator bootcamp, a Tech Skills certification scheme, and an Access Tech micro-placement initiative. The programme launched last year with funding support from The Access Foundation. In this pilot year, the programme supported 328 students to improve their digital skills and explore careers in the technology sector, of which 90% of participants had at least one marker of socio-economic disadvantage.  

With The Hg Foundation joining The Access Foundation as co-funders, the programme aims to double its reach in the current academic year, reaching a total of 660 students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds who face barriers to digital and technology careers. Birkbeck will measure the impact of the programme by tracking employment outcomes of the students involved and who is applying to and securing jobs in the tech sector. 

Piers McLeish, Trustee, The Access Foundation, said: “We are delighted that The Hg Foundation have joined with us to increase the funding of this excellent programme.  We have been extremely impressed with the results and outcomes of its first year of operation, so with the additional resources provided by our new partners there is no doubt that the initiative will go from strength to strength.” 

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