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Closing the digital skills gap

Multiverse is widening access to training.


Demand for digital skills in the UK is growing. So much so that there’s a shortage of people with the skills employers need to help their organisations thrive. It’s called the digital skills gap.

Helping to close it is a big priority for our firm. So we’re collaborating with training company Multiverse to help more people access training that can help them reach their potential.


Where there’s challenge, there’s opportunity. And the professionals who are making the most of free digital skills training courses, offered through the Deloitte x Multiverse Skills Hub, are grabbing it with both hands.

Some people taking part have told us that learning new skills in areas like data literacy and business transformation has empowered them to find solutions at work. Others that they’ve been able to apply technical skills on the job as soon as they learn them.

It’s exactly what we want to hear, because the ambitions behind the hub are to help close the digital skills gap and enable companies to invest in their most important asset: their people.

The initiative is the result of a collaboration between Deloitte and training company Multiverse – and it’s all about sharing resources and skills to help people reach their potential.

The skills to thrive

The funding model for the Skills Hub diverts unused apprenticeship levy, donated by large companies, to smaller companies that have a digital skills gap.

Our collaboration came about when Deloitte’s Kariel Parian and Tom Rees saw a way our firm could support Multiverse’s work and boost skills among some of the venture-backed businesses and charity partners we work alongside every day.

“Every business needs people with the right skills to thrive,” says Tom, a director in Deloitte Private, the part of our firm that serves privately-owned businesses, their founders and investors.

“Through Deloitte’s networks, we’re encouraging more businesses to divert their unused levy to Multiverse, who use it to fund courses that are offered through a training hub, boosting digital skills in organisations where they’re needed the most.”

So for any large business that isn’t using its full apprenticeship levy and wants to make a difference, we have a clear message: why not get in touch and help us make your unused levy matter?


The right thing to do

First to benefit from the hub and gain access to free training in digital, data and technology skills were the businesses named in the Deloitte Tech Fast 50, which is an annual ranking of the UK’s fastest-growing tech companies.

“Helping to boost digital skills within companies like these is the right thing to do,” says Kariel, a manager in Deloitte Private.

“The digital skills gap means that organisations with smaller budgets for salaries, like small to medium sized enterprises and start-ups, are in competition for talent with everyone from big tech companies and investment banks.”

Now, the same training opportunities have been opened up to some of the social impact organisations Deloitte works alongside. And for Tom, this has been the most rewarding part of the project so far.

“Charities are like any other organisations and need to keep up with tech-driven business practices,” he says.  “Better access to digital skills could have a big impact on their day-to-day work and the support they offer in communities.”

Help us bridge the gap

The programme is already making a difference to those taking part, with many of the initial cohort having received a promotion or role extension.

In the years ahead, we’re planning to support many more people to learn in-demand digital skills that can contribute to brighter futures, fulfilling tech careers and business growth.

That means encouraging more large corporations to donate their unused levy and with demand for this training high, Kariel, Tom and all of those involved with the project at Multiverse and Deloitte want to do as much as they can.


Read transcript

Emma Cox (Managing Partner, Deloitte Private): The UK's economic growth depends particularly now on the entrepreneurship of privately owned, often tech-enabled businesses, and we know that in order for ambitious high-growth companies to achieve their goals and drive this growth they have to have the right people with the right skills in place to support them on their journey.

Libby Dangoor (Chief of Staff, Multiverse): The Deloitte Community program exists to address the skills gaps that the UK's fast-growing technology sector is facing. We offer professional apprenticeships to a diverse pool of young adults at any point in their career.

Jeremy Duggan (President, Multiverse): So as a company we've currently raised over 400 million dollars in funding to help our customers have a bigger impact on the most important asset, which is their people.

Emma Cox: So we're really proud to have launched this collaboration but also to our charity network as well and are helping to upskill the UK's non-profit sector through these fully funded career development courses.

Sarah Harvey (Director of People and Culture, Papworth Trust): What we were looking to get out of the program was meaningful learning that we could implement in the workplace.

Rachael Fowler (Learning and Development Business Partner, Scope): Data is the way forward for all organisations so any way that colleagues can improve and develop those skills I think is a wonderful opportunity.

Teri Baines (Product Manager, Chattermill): So the Multiverse apprenticeship came to me at the start of my role and I thought it would be an absolutely amazing opportunity for me to kind of come in and really upskill in terms of the data analytics.

Satu Lipponen (Director of Deployment, Concirrus): I wanted to look if there's something else that I could do upskill or change jobs and Multiverse came at the right time.

Teri Baines: I get to instantly apply what I'm learning, so I'll do my work in the morning I'll learn something in the course and I instantly know how to apply that and I think that's amazing.

Rodrigo Busto (Operations Manager, Lovespace): We have a data team, a small one that normally mine the data and send it over for us to analyse, so now these tools help me to do it myself

Marina Gonzalo (Scientific Marketing Manager, Eagle Genomics): A really important skill that I've learned during this course is to build really effective teams.

Teri Baines: So we'll talk about the things that I do at work and then we talk about the things that we've learned during the course and how I can actually bring those elements in.

Marina Gonzalo: The good thing about coaching is that it doesn't really tell you what to do, but more it helps you to come up with your own solution.

Emma Cox: I'm really inspired by the apprentices who have come through the programme so far and seeing what they've achieved already, I believe and hope that our collaboration with Multiverse can make a lasting impact for both individuals and businesses alike.

Rodrigo Busto: I would recommend Multiverse apprenticeships to any colleague or friend, actually.

Duncan McGregor (Business Analyst, Papworth Trust): Individuals within the organisation may be upskilled to achieve more it will introduce new technologies it will give new methodologies to the way that individuals can apply their learning.

Rachael Fowler: We've had colleagues that have already decided that they want to sign up to the next cohort with Multiverse and Deloitte.

Marina Gonzalo: I would absolutely recommend the programme. I'm the biggest fan.

Teri Baines: I would definitely recommend the programme to a friend, peer, random person on the street should they weirdly ask that question!

The apprenticeship levy and Multiverse

The success of the programme hinges on making use of the apprenticeship levy – but what is it exactly?

It’s a charge made by the government to every UK organisation with a payroll greater than £3 million, designed to encourage investment in apprenticeships.

If the levy isn’t used, it goes back to the government. But companies can choose to donate up to a quarter of their levy to other organisations through Multiverse, which is rated by Ofsted as an ‘outstanding’ provider of professional development and career starter apprenticeships.

“The number one barrier for fast growing companies right now is access to people with the right skills to power growth,” says Multiverse President, Jeremy Duggan.

“This use of levy funding allows us to offer even more fast-growing companies the tools to get the right competencies into their organisation, while offering people at every stage of their career an opportunity to learn 21st century skillsets."

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