Belfast Met leads on a collaborative EU project to address the digital skills gap

IoToAI is an exciting project that will run for two years, supported by the European Commission through the Erasmus+ programme.
Belfast Met is delighted to be working on this innovative project in collaboration with the Belfast based digital transformation company Ionology, Centre of Education Development (CIEPES) in Italy, Cartagena University and Skills Divers in Spain to develop specific digital training pathways for modernising students and employees in N. Ireland and across Europe.
 
Glen McMahon International Manager at Belfast Met and Project Manager for From Internet of Things to Artificial Intelligence (IoToAI) said, “It’s been a very exciting project to work on as we are at the forefront of rolling out a digital transformation skills project. Embracing digital transformation and empowering change is critical to driving economic growth which will make a valuable contribution to our local economy.”
 
More than 12 million people in the UK are without essential digital skills for life and work. Though according to the Digital Marketing Institute, the top 10 jobs being recruited for that are helping to drive the economy have not been around for very long.
 
Before COVID-19 many companies thought that they had ‘Digitally Transformed’, but then realised that they hadn't actually fully digitised when faced with issues such as staff working remotely from home.  Some companies took the approach that they didn't need to transform at all, however, many businesses are now looking to the future and exploring how they can create a new digital strategy, innovate and successfully lead their organisation into our post COVID-19 world.
 
The first phase of the project was researching the skills gaps identified in using Artificial Intelligence, Cloud and Blockchain. The report on this research will be of interest to businesses, and can be accessed from the project website http://www.iotoai.ceipes.org/
 
Many of us are familiar with AI, Cloud and Blockchain, however, unless working with these technologies is part of your job, businesses tend to overlook training staff with more advanced skills in these areas. It is evident that employers need to upskill employees, especially those that may not be involved in the ICT sector, in order to improve understanding of the digital competencies and strategies across a broad range of businesses.
 
One of the introductory modules in the IoToAI project is Digital Transformation, being delivered by our Belfast based partner, Ionology - www.ionology.com.  Director at the Belfast based offices of Ionology, Ms Zara McMullan said, “I am delighted to be a part of the IoToAI project.  Our main goal is to help students and the workforce understand Digital Transformation and assist them in bridging the gap between leadership, strategy and technology, in order to become relevant during times of change.”
 
Belfast Met is working with many businesses by developing and creating content materials to support their move to an increased online presence and so that they can continue with their business remotely during lockdown.
 
The training modules will be available from the project website: http://www.iotoai.ceipes.org/
 
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Glen McMahon International Manager at Belfast Met and Project Manager for IoToAI. Director of Ionology in Belfast, Ms Zara McMullan.