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Philanthropy

Salesforce Gives $700,000 to UK Charities Helping to Close the Digital Skills Gap

Salesforce Grant

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is significantly changing the UK workplace, including the nature of work and the skills required to grow within it. The current pandemic has sped up this change exponentially, with many businesses having to adapt to a work-from-anywhere world.

The future of work and our increasingly connected future will rely on workers having relevant skills. According to Salesforce research, due to this pandemic half of workers in the UK are looking to reskill post-covid and say they are prioritising softer skills. In addition to digital skills, empathy, creativity and adaptability will all play a larger role in the future.

How Salesforce is helping the workforce of the future

The urgency to future-proof the next generation should be a priority for all businesses. More than half of Millennials (56%) and Gen Z (67%) say they are more interested in online learning and training since the Covid-19 crisis hit.

Salesforce supports the education and workforce development of young people from underserved and underrepresented communities. We have donated over $8 million to support communities across the UK and believe that opening the doors of opportunity is an important step in achieving equality.

Today, we are furthering this commitment. I am pleased to announce $700,000 in grants to two incredibly powerful UK organisations: Big Education Trust and Catch22.

Big Education Trust

Big Education Trust brings together schools, teachers and communities to deliver a bigger and bolder vision for education. With the support of Salesforce, Big Education Trust has created a leadership program called the Big Leadership Adventure (BLA) and an online platform called the Big Education Toolkit (BET), designed to develop education leaders who can push boundaries and model an education system that prepares young people for work in the 21st century.

This grant will support developing 150 new educators by 2022, 70% of whom work in some of the most underserved areas in the UK. 40% of this year’s cohort comes from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds, which represents a huge step towards equality across the education sector.

The success of the initial pilot led to the graduation of 109 educators from the Big Education leadership programme, with an 89% rate of increased satisfaction reported in quality teaching. Students from the schools that participated in the pilot increased their performance on writing and grammar to 84%, compared to a national average of 78%.

Catch22

Catch22 is a charity working with the hardest to reach individuals in the UK, to build their resilience and their aspirations for the future. Catch22 delivers high quality tailored employability programmes that support employers while equipping individuals with the support and skills they need for a path to sustainable employment. Last year, more than 1600 people were supported through their programmes. 

Salesforce will now support Catch22 to create scalable pathways and training for underemployed and unemployed young adults looking for careers in technology through employability support, technical skills training and in-work support. 

Upon completion of the pilot programme called Digital Leap, which sees participants complete two technical skills training courses and their associated certifications, 72% secure a full-time digital role or apprenticeship. Importantly for the industry, 50% of participants are from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds, and 70% are unemployed at the beginning of the programme. This is a step in the right direction for the technology industry, which thrives off diversity of background and thought.