UK could unlock £168bn opportunity by 2030 – FE News
As the UK economy is challenged with opportunities for growth, both for organizations and individuals, new economic modeling from the Center for Economic and Business Research (CEBR), commissioned by Cisco, reveals that a more inclusive digital society could add £168 billion to the economy by 2030. Over 80% of this growth (£138 billion) is set to come from outside London, creating a tangible and near-term opportunity for the nation.
The study, carried out by CEBR for Cisco, reveals that there are three key ways the UK can easily take action: by connecting everyone to high-quality broadband, expanding access to digital skills and increasing productivity and inclusion by digitizing key industries and public services.
The top regions outside London to benefit from greater digital inclusion are the South East (£22.7 billion), followed by the West Midlands (£18.4 billion), the Northwest (£17.7 billion) and the East of England (13, 9 billion pounds).
David Meads, Managing Director, Cisco UK & Ireland:
“We have an opportunity as a nation, and a responsibility as an industry, to ensure that everyone has access to the digital economy. Whether it benefits individuals, regions or industries, there are concrete, short-term opportunities between now and 2030 to create a more inclusive, digital economy. To overlook the impact of digital today would directly undermine the role it can play in helping 1.7 million people in the workforce a year, or in improving the productivity of UK industry.”
“Our analysis shows that increased digital inclusion clearly has the potential to improve economic outcomes for individuals, industry and governments. It will be important for all parts of society to work together to bring these potential benefits to life.”
Greater access to digital skills will help millions increase their incomes and increase their employability
The CEBR report explores digital skills across three key levels of Essential Digital Skills (EDS)*. These are basic skills (being able to access the internet), EDS for life (being able to shop, buy, engage online) and EDS for work (being able to use basic digital business apps).
By giving more people greater access to online services such as digital banking, e-commerce and online GP appointments, expanding access to basic digital skills and digital skills for life could, according to the data, add almost £14bn to the UK economy. next eight years (£13.86 billion).
“The single biggest lever we have to increase productivity and earning power in Britain today is how we build the nation’s digital skills. As the data shows, a more inclusive approach to using technology, recruiting and developing talent from all corners of the UK is creating opportunities for the economy as a whole.” added to Meads“We need to consider how we address not only the digital skills gap, but the varying level of skills required in today’s society, so that everyone can benefit from the many educational, professional and economic opportunities that a more digital society can offer.”
The opportunity in digital skills is not limited to the technology sector
The data also revealed that with guidance and training, 1.7 million people a year across the UK are likely to gain the digital skills needed to work in our modern economy, with many likely to gain employment as a result. To add context, according to the Department for Work and Pensions, 1.7 million people across the country are not yet active in the labor market but want to work, providing a real opportunity for this untapped talent. Digital skills alone could add £2.1 billion to the UK economy by increasing the number of people employed as a direct result of digital training.
In addition to this, gaining digital competence for work could give an income increase of 7.7% for those who are already employed, but who previously lacked digital competence. This will add almost £17 billion to the UK economy by 2030 (£16.8 billion), with most of this growth (£13.9 billion) expected to come from outside London.
Offering opportunities for digital upskilling is a strategic priority for Cisco. In 2021, the Cisco Networking Academy launched “Skills for All,” a platform that offers free, self-paced, mobile-first courses for anyone looking to improve their digital skills for the job.
Today is the 25thth anniversary of the Cisco Networking Academy, which is the world’s longest running learning and digital competence development program of its kind. Since its launch, 17.5 million global learners have trusted Cisco Networking Academy for job-skills curriculum and connections with an educational path to meaningful work. Globally, the program now consists of 11,800 educational institutions and 29,300 instructors. In the UK it has established over 300 academies across the UK and trained over 350,000 people. 95% of these students have either gone into work or further education.
Digitization will lead to a major economic boost for key industries
According to the data, wider digital adoption in key industries such as supply, transport, retail, hospitality and construction could generate £132 billion in productivity gains for the UK economy by 2030. This growth will come from greater connectivity (£45 billion), easier access to talent with digital skills (£23bn) and wider use of digital technology (£64bn).
The industrial impact of digitization will increase the leveling potential in key regions outside London, with the most significant growth expected to come from the South East and North West, followed by the East of England, the West Midlands and Scotland.
Cisco and digital inclusion:
For over 30 years, Cisco has been at the heart of digitalisation in the UK and Ireland. Today, almost every internet connection in the UK touches its technology, and through the Cisco Country Digital Acceleration (CDA) programme, which is a long-term partnership with government, industry and academia, the organization is committed to helping create more inclusive opportunities across of industry, regions and local communities.
Cisco and regional opportunity:
- As an example of a region embracing the opportunity of a more inclusive digital society, Cisco has today announced a strategic partnership with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) to advance its vision to become a world-leading digital city region. With Cisco and a consortium of partners, GMCA will enable the transformation of public services, underpinned by a program of social value initiatives to support digital inclusion, drive entrepreneurship, create better outcomes and address the digital divide in the region.
Cisco and digital skills:
- On any given day, there are at least 3 million participants enrolled in a Cisco Networking Academy program in 180 countries around the world. It provides new opportunities for some of the world’s most vulnerable and underserved communities, while contributing directly to dealing with the global skills crisis. 95% of students say Cisco Networking Academy helped them get a job or education**. To mark the 25th anniversary of the Cisco Networking Academy, Cisco has committed to training 25 million new students over the next 10 years. In addition, it will work with Manpower Group to help place certified candidates into new cybersecurity and IT roles across its global database.
Cisco and industrial digitization:
- Cisco recently announced the expansion of its Country Digital Acceleration (CDA) programme, which has formed the core of Cisco’s decade-long commitment to innovation in the UK. Through investment in partnerships, projects and initiatives in industries and public services best placed to benefit from digital acceleration, the program is aligned with both national and regional ambitions in the UK, to support key issues such as digital skills, productivity, the future of health , sustainability and the UK’s equalization agenda.
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