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Good Things Foundation Launches Next Phase of Digital Skills Initiative ‘Power Up’ in the UK

JPMorgan Chase invests in Initiative to help more residents and small businesses build the skills they need for in-demand jobs.

By Good Things Foundation · 23/09/2021

Today we announce the launch of the second phase of our pioneering digital skills initiative, Power Up. JPMorgan Chase made a £1 million philanthropic investment in the initiative.

Power Up is a £1 million fund that will help individuals, businesses and communities to become digitally engaged through building the digital skills they need to qualify for in-demand jobs and to improve their financial health.

Building on the success of the first phase of Power Up, Good Things Foundation will deliver this new phase, which aims to reach more people, enhance the digital skills support within community based organisations.

As economic recovery begins, essential digital skills – those we need for everyday life and participation in work – are more vital than ever before. Around 7.6 million workers face redundancy or reduced hours and pay due to Covid-19, and many will lack the essential digital skills required to find new and better work (Mckinsey, 2020). 92% of employers are now saying that they need basic digital skills from their employees (Worldskills UK, 2021). At the same time, 1 in 10 people are struggling to pay bills (Office for National Statistics, 2020) and people in the poorest households are at least four times more likely to be digitally excluded (Ofcom, 2020). 

Essential digital skills need prioritisation and investment. This is where Power Up has, and will continue to help.  

As in phase one, Power up will continue to support activity in Bournemouth, East London, Edinburgh and Glasgow, all of which are local to JPMorgan Chase’s largest UK operations. Grants of up to  £150,000 are available to organisations running projects in one of the four Power Up areas. All applicants will also have the opportunity to participate in an Advisory Services project to harness the skills and expertise of JPMorgan Chase employee volunteers, who will provide strategic high level support. 

Applicants will already be experts in providing community-based, person-centred support to people on low incomes. They will be looking for opportunities to enhance their employability or financial health offer so that digital skills are embedded more fully, or to extend their offer to new audiences,  where they have a proven track record of embedding digital skills in their support. Organisations and partnerships interested in applying to Power Up should go to www.onlinecentresnetwork.org/funded-projects/funding-opportunities.

The initiative has been welcomed by:

Dan Zinkin, Managing Director, Global Technology for Digital Investment Banking at J.P. Morgan, says:
“Too many individuals, especially those from underrepresented and disadvantaged communities, lack access to the skills they need to be successful in a rapidly changing economy,” said Dan. “Building a skilled workforce and ensuring that everyone, regardless of background, has access to the support and training they need for in-demand jobs is critical to a more equitable future. JPMorgan Chase is proud to continue supporting the Good Things Foundation and the Power Up initiative, which has already had a significant impact on nearly 3,500 beneficiaries as they build essential digital skills for the jobs of tomorrow.”

Helen Milner OBE, Good Things Foundation Chief Executive, says:
“The success of the first phase of Power Up demonstrated not only the need for support with basic digital skills, but also the potential to help more people live better lives through digital. We’re delighted to continue our work with J.P. Morgan and we know this will have a significant impact both on how digital skills support is delivered, and on the lives of those supported.”