ADD2189 Digital Talent Pipeline Launch Event

Type of decision: 
Assistant Director's decision
Date signed: 
17 January 2018
Decision by: 
Michelle Cuomo-Boorer, Assistant Director of Skills and Employment

Executive summary

This decision form asks for approval of expenditure on a launch event for the Mayor’s Digital Talent programme.  The event, at Bloomberg’s new London office, would take the form of a careers fair for young people aged 16 to 24.  The timing, in February 2018, would coincide with the programme’s marketing campaign going live. The event would also showcase the Mayor’s commitment to taking tech in London to the next level while addressing the under representation of women and BAME Londoners in digital occupations. 

The expenditure will be funded from the £7m budget envelope for the programme agreed by MD2040.

To deliver an effective and targeted event, it is proposed that the GLA contract the services of specialist organisation, ERIC festival, to design and manage the event.


That the Assistant Director of Skills and Employment approves expenditure of £15,000 from the digital talent budget to contract the services of ERIC festival to deliver a careers event for young people, which will launch the Mayor’s Digital Talent programme.


Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

Under MD2040 the Mayor approved a £7m investment to fund the Digital Talent programme, a multi-stranded programme that aims to plug the growing digital skills shortage in London’s labour market with diverse ‘homegrown’ talent. The programme will do this by funding new industry-led vocational training in digital, technology and creative occupations. 

The aims of the Digital Talent Pipeline programme are; 

•    To make an immediate impact on young Londoners of working age who want a job that requires digital skills. 

•    Increase the number of young women and young people from Black Asian Minority Ethic (BAME) backgrounds and disadvantaged backgrounds who are currently underrepresented in digitally-skilled occupations.

•    Stimulate long-term collaboration between FE colleges, skills providers, Higher Education Institutions, secondary schools and employers of all sizes. 

•    Ensure that employers have an improved pool of talent they can recruit from, helping to meet their growth aspirations that are currently hampered by skills shortages.

MD2040 allocated £0.300m revenue to invest in a coordination, information and marketing campaign to direct young Londoners to careers advice and digital learning opportunities. It is proposed that £15,000 of this allocation is used to contract the services of ERIC Festival to deliver a careers event, for young people aged 16-24 years old, that will launch the Mayor’s Digital Talent programme. Four organisations were contacted to respond to a call for quotes to deliver an inspiring launch event that would effectively reach the programme’s target audience. ERIC Festival was the winning respondent to this call.  

Objectives and expected outcomes

The objective is to deliver an effective and inspiring careers event for young Londoners aged 16-24 that will launch the Mayor’s Digital Talent programme.  

The expected outputs and outcomes of the event include:
•    Inspiring over 100 young Londoners, particularly young women and Londoners from BAME and disadvantaged backgrounds to join the digital workforce
•    Promote the Mayor’s Digital Talent programme and showcase the Mayor’s commitment to take Tech in London to the next level and turning around the under representation of women and BAME Londoners in digitally skilled occupations
•    Launch the Mayor’s Digital Talent programme marketing campaign

Equality comments

London’s economy is becoming increasingly digital and requires a workforce with a new set of skills. The Mayor’s Digital Talent programme will inspire and prepare more young Londoners (16 – 24 years old) for the digitally-skilled occupations needed by all sectors of the economy. Critically, it will have a strong focus on addressing the under-representation of women and BAME Londoners in the tech workforce and will develop ‘homegrown’ talent, tackling high rates of youth unemployment in London. 

The Mayor is committed to turning around the under representation of women in the digital work force and the development of a tech talent pipeline to support London’s digital economy. This event will be a key part of a wider marketing campaign that will engage and inspire under-represented groups to develop their digital skills and find employment in digitally-skilled occupations.

Other considerations

a) Key risks and issues 

Key risks associated with this proposal are: 
i.    The short timescale to deliver the event. Mitigation: Grant funding a partner to deliver the event will allow the currently understaffed programme to ensure that an effective event can be delivered to coincide with the launch of the marketing campaign.

ii.    The event does not reach the programme’s target groups. Mitigation: ERIC Festival have been identified as an organisation with a proven track record of reaching young women and BAME Londoners.

b) Links to Mayoral strategies and priorities 

The Digital Talent programme links to several of the Mayor’s manifesto commitments including to:

•    Establish a tech talent pipeline, through the Skills for Londoners taskforce, with more young people enabled and encouraged to gain key digital skills, and more apprenticeships in the sector.
•    Ensure more girls are supported to develop tech skills, so that we can turn around the under-representation of women in tech jobs.

Financial comments

The total cost of up to £15,000 for this project will be funded from the 2017-18 Digital Talent Programme budget, held within the Economic Business Policy Unit and approved by MD2040. 


Planned delivery approach and next steps




Contract issued

By 15 January 2018

Delivery Start Date

By 15 January 2018

Initial meeting with GLA and ERIC Festival

16 January 2018

Focus groups with target audience

By 28 January 2018

Launch Event

28 February 2018


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