Research and resources
The Mayor’s Digital Talent programme was developed by working closely with both the industry and education professionals. Here is some of the research that helped us along the way, alongside case studies of Young Londoners in the digital sector to inspire you.
We've collected stories of young people currently working in London's tech and digital sector - how they got there, why they love it and how you can do it too.
Nana Amaadzie, Social Media Executive, Truman Brewery
Nana Amaadzie is Truman Brewery’s Social Media Executive. Here’s how she went from taking selfies to working in digital marketing…
When I left uni, I didn’t know what to do...
I did know I wanted to develop my creativity and IT skills. That’s when I saw a digital marketing training course and thought it sounded interesting.
I really enjoyed learning about digital marketing
It helped me to improve my skills. Six months later, I applied for the role here at Truman Brewery and got it!
My typical day is…
Instagram, Instagram, Instagram! I engage with everyone I need to, both on social and in real life. I attend all the live events here. Just have fun really.
My job mixes business and creativity together…
It’s something that comes naturally to me. You can engage with people online and offline. I’m able to create content. I have freedom and flexibility.
There’s more to this job than you think
Social media’s not just about putting content out. It’s about recording, analysing and engaging. What went wrong. What went right. For comms to be effective, you must work at it.
I would tell young people interested in a digital career
Just do what you enjoy day to day. What I realised is you can get paid to do what I love. Be yourself. Stay focused. Be creative. Make sure people are engaging with you.
Get some digital skills training
There are lots of companies out there wanting a young fresh vibe. If you get the right digital skills, you have that to give. There are so many great opportunities out there for you.
I’m so excited about the future
Technology is taking it to a new level. I’m excited about the possibilities when technology and creativity collide.
Kai Barnes, Lead Digital Coach and Community Manager, Freeformers
My journey into digital work started with computer games…
I’m 29 now, and still enjoy playing them. I don’t think I’ll ever grow out of them!
My friends laughed when I said I wanted to make a career out of it…
So I decided to prove them wrong. I did some research and found a training course to become a two-way games tester. After that, I did an app development course.
It was my older brother who inspired me
He’s a developer and was always showing me stuff he did on his computer. I’d ask him how and he’d explain it to me. He told me this is literally a world where you can create anything.
Being paid to play computer games revealed another passion for me
I love teaching. I didn’t know until I got into it. I now use my digital knowledge at work to train people. I use my passion to inspire others. I love the spark when I explain coding to young people.
To someone young starting their own digital journey today I’d say…
Do some training. Get the digital skills you need today for the jobs of tomorrow. You must future proof yourself. Have a set of attributes that employers want. The knowledge you have around technology and social platforms is invaluable.
Shani Rogers, Digital Content Officer, UAL
My first taste of digital work came after university
I started writing articles and uploading listings for a website that sold vintage goods. I didn’t get paid, but it was great experience.
That was in 2011…
Back in those days, people were still figuring out how ‘digital’ could help you reach your audience. I ended up working for various publishing and events companies, a big part of my roles were website management and social media.
One day I said to myself
“Girl, you’re really good at using content management systems and you enjoy writing for the web. Why don’t you just do that for a living?”
I managed to convince a few organisations I was good at it too
I ended up at City Hall. I spent a few years there helping Londoners understand the Mayor’s work and encouraging them to get involved in our work. I’ve since brought my digital experience and charm to University of the Arts London.
Over the years, I’ve been inspired by so many people I’ve worked with
They've helped me understand the importance of things like: telling a story, focusing on your audience and their needs, providing a great experience and keeping it simple.
I jumped into the deep end with digital…
I felt like I had some technical talent and I loved writing. I didn’t know there were jobs like Digital Content Editors or UX Designers or Social Media Community Managers. Working with City Hall’s Digital team I also learned that 'digital' isn't just the platform, like ‘the internet’, it's about making complicated things simple (and interesting). When I discovered it, I knew I belonged in digital.
If you want to get into digital as a young person
The power is in your hands. It's not all about technical prowess, but do get some relevant training if you can. Remember, if you like the internet and you like communicating or finding solutions then you're already into digital. Always share your ideas - digital is about dreaming big and then working things out along the way.
Tamera Gardner, Analyst, Sky
I never thought I’d end up having a digital career…
I wanted to be a journalist! Then I realised it wasn’t what I was good at or what I enjoyed!
I’d enjoyed computer science at school and was really into ICT
That got me thinking maybe there were other possibilities. I started doing some research and Sky came up as an option.
More women are getting into digital
There were more women than men on our trainee scheme at work this year. It’s great to see so many young women getting into the industry.
In just under a year, I’ve already made my first career move!
After I finished my training as a software engineer, I got a role here as an analyst. There are real job opportunities in digital.
Digital puts you at the heart of projects
My job is to solve problems. When the business wants something, we take that and we develop it. It’s great when it all comes together.
Believe in yourself
Don’t let fear get in your way. A lot of digital jobs are looking for personality and an eagerness to learn. Don’t think you’re not as good as the other candidates.
Communication is huge
I think it’s the most important skill for a career in digital. Don’t be afraid to talk and be confident. Having the right mindset can show people it’s what you really want to do.
Tom Kegode, Innovation Manager, Lloyds Banking Group
I had no idea what to do after I left school
I didn’t want to go to uni so I got a job in a bar. It was a friend who suggested I try something else. Truth is, I didn’t want to work for a bank, but joined Lloyds as a cashier.
Working at the front end of banking…
Made me see that customers needed to be given more banking choices using digital. My passion for digital technology meant I could see that a massive shift was happening. We needed to help people integrate it into their daily lives and make better use of their banking services.
Coming up with fresh ideas is a big part of what I do
I now use my experience of working in a local bank to help design ways to improve our customers’ experience through technology. It’s so important in a banking group of 74,000 people to build a culture of innovation.
Digital isn’t an add on anymore
It’s a way of life. If you’re thinking about going into a digital career you are at the start of a very exciting journey. Make sure you get the skills you need for success. If there’s a training course that’s relevant, go on it. Also, never underestimate your knowledge as a digital native. What you take for granted can be a useful source of knowledge for people who don’t have those skills.
Linked In Economic Graph
LinkedIn's Economic Graph for London looks at technology skills in the city’s labour market. It has data on the fastest-growing employers of tech talent in the private and public sectors.
It also shows that London’s LinkedIn users have a comparative advantage to the rest of the UK in skills such as Cloud and distributed computing, machine learning and software code debugging.
LinkedIn has worked to make the Economic Graph as accurate as possible, but the results are based on LinkedIn's network and rely heavily on members accurately and frequently updating their profiles. This means the final numbers are not fully representative of everyone in London’s labour market.
We have worked with Tech Partnership to create guidance documents:
- Priorities for entry-level digital skills needs in Greater London (PDF 947KB)
- Introductory guide to the new Digital Apprenticeship Standards (PDF 468KB)
- Attracting under-represented groups to Digital Apprenticeships (PDF 670KB)
- Engaging SMEs in Digital Apprenticeships (PDF 594KB)
- Designing and Delivering Digital Courses for NEETS and Under-Represented Groups (PDF 856KB)
- Labour Market Intelligence presentation (PDF 213KB)
These reports helped shape the development and direction of the Digital Talent programme.
Keen to hear more? Register to receive email updates from the Digital Talent Team.