Matt Brindley-Sadler, Director of Staffordshire University London

The pandemic has catalysed a global recession, but despite this, many parts of the tech and digital ecosystem are burgeoning. From cyber to fintech to esports – some industries have grown monumentally in the last 14 months. Last year can be considered a record year for the cyber industry with the crisis prompting a wave of cybercrimes people needed protection from. In the UK the sector now employs almost 50,000 people and contributes billions to the UK economy whilst the FinTech sector which allowed people to bank from the comfort of their own home in lockdown, contributes more than £6 billion to the UK economy annually.

Whilst it is good to see the tech sector flourishing as we start to build back our economy, we’re going to need a pipeline of talent with strong digital skills to keep up with the demand for jobs. 

According to The Learning and Work Institute since 2015, the number of students opting to take a GCSE in IT has fallen by 40% demonstrating that long before the pandemic the digital skills gap was present. The Covid-19 crisis has accelerated this, so it is more important than ever before that we implement solutions to educate the next generation with the skills to meet industry demand.

To fully embrace this shift, the World Economic Forum report determines that 54% of large company employees must upskill. Universities will play a role in making this possible, by providing courses specifically targeted at ensuring people have the skills required for the tech careers of the future. 

It is really important for us at Staffordshire University London to provide our students with the skills needed for a successful career. That’s why we’ve expanded our London campus and are investing £3.5m to double its space to 31,133 square foot at Here East so we can expand the range of courses we have available to students in London. Our new space will pave the way for courses in Artificial Intelligence, Data Science & Informatics and Financial Technologies to name a few with further expansion of games, entertainment and professional technologies coming on board in 2023. 

Yet the problem is bigger than just expanding the number of courses on offer. We also need to make higher education accessible to people from a range of different backgrounds. This will be achieved by ensuring as many people as possible have access to the resources required to develop the skills needed for careers of the future. 

We are dedicated to ensuring this at Staffordshire University London. We have our new Step Up to Higher Education (Digital) programme in development - a 10-week free course for anyone to develop the skills needed to begin higher education. Through courses such as these, we’re providing people with the chance to improve their digital capabilities. 

We’ve also partnered with Here East to implement a scholarship programme, enabling three students local to East London to study a course at the University fully funded by Here East. The scholarship is for students based in the boroughs surrounding the Olympic Park and is especially targeted at students facing financial difficulties, first generation university students or students who are leaving care or who are also carers.

Providing such opportunities for young people enables them to overcome the financial barriers that might be preventing them from accessing higher education. As we work to close the digital skills gap, we must always consider how we include a diverse range of people and implement practical solutions to do so. 

The world is changing and digitalising at a rapid pace, and Covid-19 has made it crystal clear that right now is the time to implement tangible solutions to close our digital skills gap. We must work to do this in a way that includes as many people as possible so we build back our economy in a way that embraces people from a plethora of backgrounds. 

Matt Brindley-Sadler is Director of Staffordshire University London

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel had a status update on Twitter 9 hours 48 minutes ago

RT @FENews: Committed to mental health – University Centre Leeds becomes early adopter of new charter: University Centre Leeds (@UniCentreL…
View Original Tweet

Alicia has published a new article: Teachers: Our Unsung Heroes of 2021 11 hours 58 minutes ago
william bradley commented on The Importance of Social-Emotional Learning with At-Risk Students 14 hours 36 minutes ago

SEL is helpful to both children and adults, increasing self-awareness,...

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In Jan 2021, FE News had over 173,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector, putting us in the top 2,000 websites in the UK.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page