Can this new Sage initiative spark a growth of tech skills in the UK?
Sage is targeting 16-25 year olds, including school leavers and millennials, with a new initiative looking to teach skills in artificial intelligence (AI) and bots.
The Sage Foundation plans to set up what it is calling a ‘BotCamp’, a programme that will facilitate the training of over one hundred young people within the specified age bracket, aiming to encourage the pursuit of skills that are crucial to the future.
With the rapid move towards these new technologies, skilled individuals are a constant requirement, and the UK skills gap is becoming ever-wider. However Sage is setting out to provide accessible technology skills that will help people to embrace, not fear, the 4th industrial revolution.
Stephen Kelly, CEO at Sage said: “AI is an area where the UK leads – and with this announcement we are continuing to push boundaries. We are always looking for great talent to develop our AI capabilities, and the IT skills shortage is well-documented. Finding the right coders is imperative to laying the foundation for the future, and we want to open tech skills up to an audience who might otherwise see AI as a threat.”
Mehul Patel, CEO of Hired discussed tech talent in the UK with CBR earlier this year, he said: “The UK has seen flat or declining engineering graduates over the last couple of decades… if there is not enough of that talent, you are going to see a lot of companies not succeed”.
Mr Kelly has faith that the next generation will be able to take technology to the next technology, and be able to gain the skills to use it to benefit the world in the future. He said:
“As millennials are great adopters of bots, we are giving them the opportunity to code for their future peers, business builders, and industry leaders. Delivering this through the Sage Foundation will help us meet our commitment to benefit young people around the world, and to do good in the communities we serve.”
Low levels of awareness may be a factor at play regarding the weak flow of talent into the tech industry, as assumptions that highly technical education attainment is essential to branching into tech. This outlook may be off-putting to a vast number of young people.
Kriti Sharma, VP of bots and AI said: “We’re giving them the opportunity to believe that you don’t need a computer science degree to write code and create chatbots that will have a significant impact on the communities in which we live and work.