Digitally transforming our National Digital Inclusion Network through the Future Skills Academy

We've partnered with Virgin Money O2 and Multiverse to launch the Future Skills Academy, and help the Network gain the skills they need to tackle digital exclusion in their communities.

We’re on a mission to tackle digital exclusion. The National Digital Inclusion Network is at the heart of this mission, made of over 2,000 local Digital Inclusion Hubs that provide digital skills support and services. Which is why we’ve partnered with Virgin Money O2 and Multiverse to launch the Future Skills Academy, and help the Network gain the skills they need to tackle digital exclusion in their communities.

Virgin Media O2, our Strategic Partner, has gifted around £200,000 to fund the ‘Good Things Foundation Future Skills Academy,’ which will be delivered by apprenticeship training provider, Multiverse. The schemes will range from Level 3 (equivalent to A Levels) to Level 6 (equivalent to an undergraduate degree).

The apprenticeship schemes delivered by Multiverse will help successful candidates to develop their business critical skills, including project management and data analysis.

As part of the schemes, apprentices will split their time between working for the Digital Inclusion Hubs in the National Digital Inclusion Network, and working towards their fully funded apprenticeship qualification.

The skills candidates will learn through their apprenticeship scheme will help them to digitally transform their organisation. This will, as a result, free up Digital Inclusion Hubs’ time and reduce costs, enabling them to provide even greater support to people who are digitally excluded in the local communities.

Helen Milner OBE, Group Chief Executive of Good Things Foundation, said:

Data literacy and business transformation skills are becoming increasingly vital to help future-proof organisations. These are the skills of the future that will help organisations adapt and respond to rapid technological development.

“Through partnering with Virgin Media O2 and Multiverse, we are offering members of our National Digital Inclusion Network access to fully funded professional development in business-critical skills. This opportunity will help build organisation resilience for members of our network so that they can continue to provide vital services to fix the digital divide in local communities.”

Karen Handley, Head of Future Careers at Virgin Media O2, said:

“As one of the UK’s largest apprenticeship providers, we know the real difference that apprentices can make to an organisation, which is why we’re proud to help fund the Good Things Foundation’s Future Skills Academy.

“Through their apprenticeship schemes candidates will learn the skills that will help them tackle digital exclusion in their communities.”

“We’re committed to helping eradicate data poverty in the UK, and through our work in partnership with Good Things Foundation, we’re getting more people online and connected than ever before.”

Jeremy Duggan, President of Multiverse, said:

“The pace of technological change is leaving far too many people behind without access to the skills and tools they need to thrive. Addressing this problem is an objective that unites Multiverse, Virgin Media O2 and Good Things Foundation.

Through our partnership, we’ll empower individuals with the data and digital skills that not only open up their own careers, but also support the essential work of the organisations they belong to. Apprenticeships are simply the best way to deliver those skills, because the future of learning is working; applying skills everyday, in real-world settings.”

Alongside working together on the Future Skills Academy, Good Things Foundation and Virgin Media O2 founded the National Databank in July 2021, providing free data to people who are digitally excluded. Since its launch, over 1000 National Databank Hubs have been supported across the UK, with over 159,000 free SIM cards distributed to communities across the country.