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Sadiq Khan launches £7m tech talent programme for young Londoners

Mark Sands
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Khan's scheme will help 1,500 young Londoners access training or work experience (Source: Getty)

London mayor Sadiq Khan has launched a new £7m scheme to support Londoners into digital, technology and creative careers, with a focus on women and minority ethnic groups over two years.

Designed to help meet the needs of tech business in the capital, the scheme will support and encourage young people developing digital skills and the creation of apprenticeships until 2019.

Funding, which will come from a combination of the London Local Enterprise Partnership and the European Social Fund, will go towards the development of new programmes at school, and the improvement of existing regimes.

And new schemes will be designed in collaboration with London's high-tech employers.

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It is expected the funding will support 1,500 young Londoners access industry-backed training, work experience placements.

It will also go towards better information, sign-posting, career guidance and events for tech roles.

Khan, said: “It is vital that we nurture the next generation of digital enthusiasts so we can continue to provide our tech firms with home-grown talent.

“Our new scheme will help to ensure that this crucial sector continues to go from strength to strength.

“It will also look to address the factors that are often preventing young women, those from minority ethnic backgrounds and our more deprived communities from accessing tech jobs and ensure there is a level playing field when it comes to being a part of this hugely exciting part of our economy.”

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Khan has made more control over training for Londoners a key demand from Westminster in the aftermath of Brexit as he seeks to ensure the capital's businesses are able to draw on deep pools of talent both locally and from abroad.

It comes just days after both Facebook and Google reiterated their commitments to the capital, although the search giant also raised concerns over a potential loss of access to skilled European workers in the context of Brexit.

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