A message from FutureDotNow CEO, Liz Williams MBE

Is it summer? The weather doesn’t seem to think so! At FutureDotNow, our thoughts are already starting to turn to the Autumn and our plans to review our second year of action. We’ll be taking time for reflection and to share plans for the coming year at our Annual Meeting which will be taking place on 4 November. Please do save the date and register here

We’ve now passed the milestone of 150 members. Great news but, as we heard from attendees at our Senior Leaders Council in April, the real prize is organisations delivering against their FutureDotNow pledge and reducing the number of people without the essential digital skills.

This month, we’re inviting you to share your plans and progress. We’re keeping it as light touch as possible, either inviting you to a meeting with one of the team or to complete a short online form. It will be an important feed to our review of the year and help shape our forward work plan. Thanks in advance for your time. 

I hope that you’ve found the Hidden Middle Report a useful document to power up your internal conversations and are using the refreshed FutureDotNow Playbook and Directory to inform the development of your programmes. We’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback. 

Our Meets will be pausing in August, but I hope you will be able to join us on Thursday 29 July for an hour of input and discussion on how the EDS gap can impact young people and what we can do about it. We’ll be joined by Catch 22 and Movement to Work who will be sharing their extensive experience. There are more details below and you can register here.

Whatever you’ve planned, I wish you a relaxing summer.

New members

Our membership now stands at 153. Welcome to:

A British multinational engineering company headquartered in Glasgow.

A professional skin care brand that caters for the retail and professional sector, with distribution in over 90 countries.

A leadership and technology training delivery company that works with some of the UK’s largest companies.

A tech social enterprise with the mission to support everyone to thrive in the new world of work through expert career development support delivered digitally.

Practice Labs build, host, and maintain virtual labs for learners to practice their digital and IT skills within a safe, live-lab environment.

An Edu Teach Company that offers both online and classroom-based coding and robotics courses for kids.

The time is now to take action, Sir Peter Estlin

As part of our Hidden Middle report, our Chair and former Lord Mayor of the City of London, Sir Peter Estlin reflects on why the time is now to take action to close the essential digital skills gap.

“There remains a digital skills crisis in the UK, and at the heart of it is a ‘hidden middle’ between digital exclusion and advanced digital skills. That hidden middle, c.17 million people without the essential digital skills for work, comprises around half the UK’s workforce. Upskilling this “hidden middle” must be a critical part of the UK’s skills strategy. The UK ranks 41st in the world digital competitiveness rankings for employee training, so there is significant room for improvement. The FutureDotNow business coalition is working to tackle this. By coordinating action across industry, we aim to have a multiplier effect to tackle this at scale. But we need more organisations to recognise the issue and join us, learning and sharing experience and knowledge.

There are competitive and productivity opportunities if we act now; digital is the most powerful tool to revolutionise our businesses and benefit our workforce.

So many advances in digital skills have been made during lockdown; it has been the biggest proof of concept of what digital delivers. People and businesses have found new motives and advantages, which many will continue to use. Let’s create something positive from that crisis. The time is now to take action.

A catch 22 – essential digital skills for young people (July 29, 10am)

Don’t miss our next FutureDotNow meet on Thursday 29 July looking at essential digital skills from the perspective of young people.  You can book your place here.

With help from coalition members Catch 22 and Movement to Work we’ll be hearing first-hand from young people on the challenges they face gaining essential digital skills for work, and sharing data unpacking the extent of the issue and what this means for business.

How’s that pledge?

We’re looking forward to hearing about your plans and progress against your pledge over the coming weeks as we embark on our member listening exercise. Keep an eye on your inbox for the invitation to either meet with a member of the team or provide your inputs online.  We’ve deliberately kept it light touch but it’s important input that will feed into our 2021 annual review and help shape our forward work plan. If you’d like any more information or the email fails to reach you, please do get in touch with our Membership Manager Paul Fleming – paul.fleming@futuredotnow.uk.

We’re looking forward to connecting with you all.

Team news

There’s been a few changes on the FutureDotNow team. 

A big welcome to Marta Bronowicka. Marta joined us as an intern last month and will be focused on supporting membership activities.

After a period of secondment from Deloitte, we’re delighted that Holly Chate has officially joined FutureDotNow as our COO, working three days a week.

We’re also bidding fond farewells to David Pincott and Nadia Mensah. David has been leading our communications activity and has decided to return to freelance work. Nadia has come to the end of her 12 month secondment from PWC.  She’s been instrumental in creating our FutureDotNow Playbook and Directory and will be handing over the reins to her successor at PWC over the coming weeks. 

Keep the conversation going

This is your coalition and we want to make sure that you are getting the most out of it.

If you have any questions, comments or feedback please do send it to hello@futuredotnow.uk and we will get back to you.

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