The Tech Partnership to cease operations in September 2018

It is announced today that the Tech Partnership will cease its operations in September 2018, as a result of changes in government policy for skills.

It has become increasingly clear that collective action by employers on a sector basis is no longer supported in policy. This means that, despite the organisation’s continued employer commitment and financial strength, it is no longer possible for the Tech Partnership to fulfil its core purpose of bringing together industry, education and government with a common agenda for action on digital skills.

The Trustees have therefore reluctantly taken the decision that the company should cease its operations in a year’s time, during which we will continue to deliver the highest level of service to our tens of thousands of customers and beneficiaries, and will maximise our ongoing legacy for future generations across all nations of the UK.

The Tech Partnership, and its predecessor organisation e-skills UK, have played key roles in driving up digital skills across the UK. Led by a unique partnership of industry leaders – CEOs from across the digital industries and CIOs from right across the economy – we have worked tirelessly with educators, government and other stakeholders to ensure the UK has the digital skills to thrive in the global economy. In addition to our contribution to economic growth, we have, together, significantly improved the lives of hundreds of thousands of people – including the girls we have inspired, the apprentices whose life opportunities have been transformed, and the graduates whose employment and academic outcomes have far outstripped the norm.

Digital skills remain a critically important matter for the UK, with employers remaining committed to addressing skills issues. Educators are increasingly focussed on the needs of industry, and government has recently strengthened its focus on digital with the publication of the Digital Strategy and the launch of the Digital Skills Partnership, the Digital Apprenticeship Route Panel and the T-level panel for digital. However, the Tech Partnership, as a convening body, no longer has a place in the nation’s policy infrastructure, as government and agencies move to the new approach of engaging directly with employers.

We have, therefore, reached the end of an era, but one of which all involved are very proud. We will honour our values during this final phase in the same way as we have throughout our history. We are fully committed to our customers and partners, and will do our utmost to ensure none are disadvantaged by this situation. We will deliver on our commitments, and we will start to work with our employers and stakeholders to agree natural homes for our ongoing activities.

We thank all who have supported us to date. We hope you will continue to do so over the coming year, and help us to leave a lasting legacy of our joint endeavours, some highlights of which are below.

For enquiries regarding this announcement, please contact

Key milestones of the Tech Partnership


  • In April 2003, e-skills UK (later to become the Tech Partnership) was the first organisation to be licensed as a Sector Skills Council.
  • The company was recognised by government as responsible for IT skills and skills standards across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.


  • Employers, keen to inspire more girls about technology, ran a pilot project offering Computer Clubs for Girls (CC4G) to 10-14 year olds. Over 3,000 girls participated in clubs in 120 schools.
  • CC4G was awarded Online Learning Solution of the Year at the UK World of Learning Awards. The Department for Education and Skills agreed to support a £10m national rollout of CC4G, alongside £22m of matched funding from employers.


  • To help increase the supply of graduates into tech careers, employers collaborated with universities to create a new degree curriculum, the IT Management for Business degree (ITMB). This novel programme gave equal weighting to business, technology, personal skills and project work.
  • A national rollout of the new degree commenced, with what was at the time seen as an ambitious plan to benefit 500 students in 12 universities over the coming three years. A growing network of employers agreed to provide lectures, project work, student placements and developmental experiences.


  • e-skills UK secured government backing for a coherent approach to IT skills which encompassed not only for the IT industry, but also for IT professionals in other industries and IT user skills across the economy.
  • The funding agency for Sector Skills Councils, the Sector Skills Development Agency highlighted e-skills UK to the Department for Education and Skills as a ‘top performing’ Sector Skills Council.


  • Employers and government were increasingly relying on the e-skills UK’s research programme, which provided unprecedented insight into the digital skills needs across the UK. This covered current reality and a forecast of the future based on primary research amongst over 4,000 employers and the best available global intelligence.
  • 3,000 young people a year were getting an insight into IT careers through industrycreated online information and a programme of school visits.


  • 132,000 girls in 3,800 schools, including 50% of the secondary schools in England, had benefitted from the rollout of Computer Clubs for Girls (CC4G) by now. 80% reported that they were more likely to consider a career in technology as a result.
  • 44,000 people a year were registering for the ITQ qualification, designed by employers through e-skills UK to improve the supply of skills in the use of IT.


  • e-skills UK was one of only two Sector Skills Councils to be rated outstanding by the National Audit Office in the re-licensing of SSCs.
  • Work to improve Apprenticeships and support employers offering them started to pay dividends.  1,000 IT & Telecoms professional apprenticeships were being completed a year at this stage, with the sector completion rate having improved from 48% to 73% in three years, to become one of the highest rates in any sector.


  • e-skills UK’s partnership with Google for the ‘Getting British Business Online’ campaign enabled more than 80,000 small businesses to create a free website by the end of 2010.
  • e-skills UK’s research was ranked the best of all Sector Skills Councils in an assessment by the Institute for Employment Studies on behalf of the UK Commission for Employment and Skills.


  • Over 33,000 people a year were using the e-skills UK employer-designed Business IT Guide to help small business adopt IT.
  • Employers collaborated to address cyber security skills needs, with a new programme to upskill the existing workforce. Investment was also secured to create a new sectordefined Higher Apprenticeship.


  • 50,000 young people a year were using our careers websites, 36% of whom were female.
  • 40 employers started to collaborate to create inspiring GCSE curriculum resources,  which would later develop into the TechFuture Classroom.


  • A new project to provide more flexible, ‘sector managed’ apprenticeships created 550 new jobs, 95% of which were in small companies.  The first cyber security apprenticeship was developed, and more than 1,300 students were inspired to consider a career in cyber security as a result of the ‘Secure Futures’ campaign.
  • Over 180,000 individuals a year were completing the e-skills UK employed-designed ITQ qualification in IT user skills by now, and over 3 million UK people joined in in the UK ‘Hour of Code’, brought to the UK in partnership with e-skills UK. The latter had grown to 25 million people in the UK by 2017.
  • e-skills UK became a formal Professional Statutory and Regulatory Body for the accreditation of degrees, continuing to grow the IT Management for Business (ITMB)  and establishing a new sister degree, Software Engineering for Business.


  • e-skills UK developed into the Tech Partnership, the industrial partnership for digital. Government and industry co-invested in a major programme to deliver a coherent industry-led digital skills strategy, including investing £20m in new training for skills of strategic importance to the nation such as software development, cyber security and data science.
  • All employers wanting to create new Trailblazer apprenticeships in IT / digital roles asked the Tech Partnership to support their development, leading to 12 standards being under development with 300 employers within a year.


  • Through the industrial partnership programme, the Tech Partnership created 448 new apprenticeships, 90% of which were in small companies, enabled 2,000 people in 470 companies to be upskilled, and brought industry into over 1,000 schools with employer ambassadors, curriculum resources and digital badges.
  • The Tech Partnership was invited by government to create the first Degree Apprenticeship programme in the UK, bringing together employers and universities to create new degrees for employed people, with new industry-focused delivery models.


  • 700 people from 40 employers embarked on the first Tech Partnership accredited Degree Apprenticeships in 18 universities. This would grow within a year to 1,250 apprentices from 80 employers in 27 universities.
  • The Tech Partnership accredited full time degrees had by now grown to 1,500 full time students, supported by 100 employers in 20 universities, with outstanding employment and academic outcomes. There is no known unemployment from these courses, 82% of students gain a first class or 2:1 degree (compared to 52% for computing overall), and 33% are female (compared to 16% for computing overall).


  • The Tech Partnership now comprises over 1,000 employers, collaborating to develop the digital capability the UK needs. Nearly 3,000 young people are undertaking Tech Partnership accredited degrees and degree apprenticeships a year. Each year, we certify 11,000 apprenticeships, over 10,000 students benefit from our work in schools, and our website serves over 130,000 unique visitors.
  • The Tech Partnership took on responsibility for Basic Digital Skills from Go ON UK, was asked by the governments in Scotland and Wales to revise digital skills standards, and was asked by all employers involved with digital Trailblazer apprenticeships in England to operate the moderation service to ensure consistent quality of apprenticeship assessment.
  • The Tech Partnership supported a £20m “Institute of Coding” proposal, which brings together 20 universities with industry with the objective of transforming graduate and masters level computer science provision.


  • Until September 2018 when it will cease operations, the Tech Partnership will continue to deliver the highest level of service to its tens of thousands of customers and beneficiaries, and will maximise its ongoing legacy for future generations across all nations of the UK.