Apply now to £5.75m fund to find innovations that will prepare adults for employment

Nesta and the education department have launched the fund as part of the CareerTech Challenge

Charities are being invited to apply for a share of a £5.75m fund to find technical innovations that will equip adults with skills for future employment.

The innovation charity Nesta and the Department for Education have launched the fund as part of the CareerTech Challenge.

The challenge will fund new ideas about how to help the one-fifth of UK workers whose jobs are likely to be affected by automation over the next 10 to 15 years.

Organisations from all sectors can apply for funding for digital solutions to help people working in England aged from 24 to 65, who have no degree and earn less than £35,000 a year.

The sectors expected to particularly change as a result of automation include retail and manufacturing.

Vicki Sellick, executive director of programmes at Nesta, said: "As the world of work transforms, it is crucial that people feel confident in understanding what jobs will be available in the future in their local areas and how to learn the skills to secure them.

"Technology offers a variety of exciting ways to equip people with the knowledge and tools to plan for secure and rewarding careers and improve working lives for people across England."

There are two strands to the initiative.

The CareerTech challenge prize will award 20 finalists £50,000 to develop digital solutions that use labour market information to make future-focused information, advice and guidance more accessible. In March 2021, a winner will be awarded £120,000 and one runner-up will receive £80,000.

The CareerTech challenge fund will provide grants of between £100,000 and £250,000 to successful applicants to help them find technological solutions that enable people affected by automation to develop new skills online.

The CareerTech challenge, formerly the Adult Learning Technology Innovation Fund, will support the development of the government’s national retraining scheme.

Michelle Donelan, the education minister, said: "The CareerTech Challenge is a fantastic opportunity for innovators looking to put their ideas into action on a national scale."

The prize is now open for entries here, and the fund is open here.

Applications for the fund close on 9 December and entries for the prize close on 29 January.

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