Sopra Steria and digital skills charity ELATT tackle job displacement

15 May 2020 3 min. read

A partnership between Sopra Steria and digital skills charity East London Advanced Technology Training has been handed a £250,000 grant to tackle the challenge of job displacement as part of the UK Government’s CareerTech Challenge. The award was decided by the Department of Education’s innovation fund NESTA.

The £5.75 million CareerTech Challenge was started to develop and deliver innovative tech solutions that motivate and support people who will be hit the hardest by an insecure job market. This typically includes those without a degree, and working in sectors such as retail, manufacturing, construction and transport – all of which are likely to see mass automation in the coming years.

According to research by innovation foundation NESTA, more than 6 million people in the UK are currently employed in occupations that are likely to radically change or entirely disappear by 2030 due to automation, population ageing, urbanisation and the rise of the green economy. In the nearer-term, however, the coronavirus crisis has intensified the situation, with recent warnings suggest that a prolonged lockdown could result in 6.5 million people losing their jobs. Of these workers, nearly 80% do not have a university degree – something which will make finding new employment increasingly difficult.

Sopra Steria and digital skills charity ELATT tackle job displacement

Ksenia Zhoultoukhova, NESTA’s Executive Director of People and Performance said, “We want to ensure that more people feel confident in understanding what jobs will be available in the future and how to learn the skills to secure them. Technology has a crucial role to play in this, and we look forward to working closely with the innovators to help them put their ideas into action on an even greater scale. With employment concerns across England exacerbated by the current health crisis, it is even more important to equip people with the tools to plan for secure future careers.”

NESTA will provide expert support and mentoring to help refine and develop the solutions over the next 11 months, and the aim is for people to start benefiting from the solutions as soon as autumn 2020. 20 Prize finalists will receive £50,000 each to help scale their concepts, while 11 Fund finalists will access grants of up to £250,000. A £120,000 cash prize will be awarded to the winning Prize entrant in March 2021.

One project which has won funding from NESTA’s CareerTech Challenge is a partnership between digital skills charity East London Advanced Technology Training (ELATT) and consultancy Sopra Steria. The £250,000 grant supplied by NESTA will now see Sopra Steria’s Innovation Practice develop an online platform to deliver essential skills training in new, more effective ways, helping learners to succeed in the world of work. Looking to deliver a user-centric approach, Sopra Steria will explore how emerging technologies and behavioural science can support learning.