Ground-breaking digital skills programme backed by leading global employers to prevent a lost generation

July 29, 2020

A new digital and personal skills programme has been launched to help young people make the transition from education to employment.
fast futures2Backed by leading global employers, FastFutures will help tens of thousands of young people each year to develop vital workplace skills and help them to secure employment at a time when internships and work placements are limited because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The inaugural 12-week FastFutures programme is being launched with 1,000 free places funded by the founding employers – AstraZeneca, Agilisys,, Barclays, Blenheim Chalcot, BT, Legal & General, Modulr, Health Education England and its partner NHS bodies, Octopus Group, Salary Finance and Tate & Lyle.
Participants will learn the business, technology, data, finance and personal life skills most valued by employers as part of a virtual and physical learning experience which includes virtual business visits, live CEO Q&A sessions and an employer-led mentoring programme, culminating in an employer interview.
The programme is being supported by the Local Enterprise Partnership Network.
Mark Bretton, Chair, Local Enterprise Network, commented:
“A programme that supports and enables our young people to gain the digital and personal skills they’ll need for their future careers is a great initiative. The fact it’s backed by some of the leading businesses in the UK and prioritises underrepresented groups will target those who need it most. We look forward to working with the programme team to see how LEPs can use our existing, proven skills infrastructure to accelerate implementation and help our young people to access the opportunities they deserve.”
FastFutures has been launched by Blenheim Chalcot, the UK’s leading digital venture builder, and is being delivered by Avado, the country’s leading digital vocational skills provider, supported by Hive Learning to enable a modern, social learning experience.
Mark Creighton, CEO of Avado, commented:
“It’s a truly unique programme that will give young people from all backgrounds the chance to gain not just skills – but the skills the employers really value and want, as well as a network of connections, and the confidence and mindset to succeed in a business environment.”
FastFutures has been designed to appeal to and prioritise underrepresented groups using a transformative approach to deliver a diverse group of participants and help address inequalities across the workforce. Applications are open now and the deadline for submissions is 13th August 2020.
Click here for further details

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The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership has now ceased trading and transferred all its functions to Shropshire Council working with Telford & Wrekin Council and Herefordshire Council, in line with the UK Government's plans for devolution.

The Marches LEP was established in 2011 and hands over an impressive legacy from its 13-year life. In that time the LEP invested over £196m in projects across the Marches, securing in excess of £100m of match funding and supported more than 66,000 business interactions.

The schemes supported have made tangible differences to local communities, increasing skills, creating jobs and improving the physical appearance of many towns.

We would like to thank all the LEP Board Members who have given their time freely over the life of the LEP, as well as all the staff who worked for the LEP over the years. We also want to thank our delivery partners, local education providers and local, regional and national stakeholders who helped us achieve so much.

The Marches Growth Hub will continue to support businesses and will be managed by Shropshire Council, supported by Telford and Wrekin and Herefordshire Councils. Each of the three Local Authorities will also continue to provide direct business support locally. Details of this support will be available through the Marches Growth Hub website and from the Local Authorities directly. Website: | email:

The Marches Careers Hub will continue to be delivered and will be managed by Shropshire Council, supported by Telford & Wrekin and Herefordshire Councils. Website: | email:

For any queries about Getting Building Fund (GBF), Local Growth Fund (LGF) and Marches Investment Fund (MIF) projects supported by the Marches LEP please contact:

For any finance queries please contact:

The solvent liquidation of the Marches LEP is being managed by the Evelyn Partners Limited. For any matter related to this please contact:

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