Cisco UK & Ireland Blog

Helping the Internet builders of the future find their path

November 11, 2019

How many times have you heard that access to the Internet should be treated as a human right; a utility that everyone should be able to access?

But what about people having the skills to be use it – and I don’t mean to browse the web, but to truly use it to better their lives.

We believe that our digital society has to work for everyone, and for that to happen it will need to be built by a diverse set of thinkers of all ages, backgrounds and disciplines.

So our focus is on providing the most accessible ways for anyone to obtain the digital skills training they need. Whether that is in the classroom with the help of a teacher, at your own pace in a community library, or at home in partnership with the Open University. For some that will mean a certification in networking to support a career direction, for others it will be getting to grips with cyber security as a responsible internet user, or simply the basics of how to get online.

In 2017 we committed to training an additional 250,000 people in the UK by the end of 2020, and I’m delighted to share that since then we have engaged 167,136 people in programmes to further their digital skills, with an additional 100,000 hours of digital learning between Year 7-9 facilitated. So we are making some great progress!

This year, we’ve celebrated another milestone too, with 1,250 14-16 year olds and women aged 16-18 through our Pathways to Your Future work experience programme – a week dedicated to showing them what it’s like to work in the technology industry. Volunteers from across the business run sessions including dragon’s den style challenges and speed networking, with 91% of students stating that it made them aware of different career opportunities in the IT industry and helped them feel better prepared for the world of work.

Of course we know that the job is never done, and we’re upping the ante to make sure that we not only reach 250,000, but find ways to scale our programmes further. If you’d like to stay up to date with what we’re doing, keep an eye on the blog – we’ll keep you posted!

Find out more about Cisco’s skills programmes in the UK here.

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