The Wilson James Data Academy will be offered to the 200+ managers working across the business, with 15 enrolled in the first cohort. Training will be delivered by tech start-up Multiverse, through professional apprenticeships.
It is part of the company’s drive to harness data in its operations with a growing focus on Business Intelligence, while also offering its people career growth and development opportunities.
Research by the UK Government has found that almost a quarter of employees use data skills in their work, yet a shortage of skills in this area is estimated to cost UK businesses £2bn a year. In 2019, one in 10 job vacancies required data expertise, while over 100,000 data positions remain unfilled.
Tom Giles, Head of Business Intelligence and Improvement at Wilson James, said: “Over the last two years, the business has invested significantly in our IT infrastructure and platforms, allowing us to generate and track information in new and sophisticated ways. Our executive and leadership boards have seen the positive impact of this, now we are making sure our wider management cohort sees the benefits as well. Doing this requires an investment in talent, which we’re making through the Data Academy delivered in partnership with Multiverse.
“Developing these new skills across the business will enable us to democratise data and instil a culture of data-driven decision making. Our ambition is to harness data as a Business Intelligence tool at multiple layers of our organisations, improving efficiency and delivery for customers.”
Employees that participate in the upskilling opportunity will be enrolled on one of two data programmes provided by Multiverse. The 13-month Data Literacy programme covers the core technical skills required to transform data into insights, as well as softer skills like building narratives and presenting findings.
Meanwhile, the 15-month Data Fellowship will give apprentices the skills to clean, analyse and model data, and tell data stories to non-specialists.
Tom Giles, president of Multiverse, said: “Collecting, analysing, presenting and acting on data is a critical component of business success – no matter the industry. But the skills to interact with data are in short supply.
“With a forward-thinking approach to skills management, Wilson James is focused on both developing its people and developing its business capabilities through apprenticeships. Those on the programmes will benefit from world-class learning, personalised coaching and access to a community of professionals across the UK.”
Training provider Multiverse recently announced the closing of a $220 million Series D funding round to be invested back into its programmes and technology, now trains over 8,000 tech, leadership and digital apprentices. They received ‘Outstanding’ in every category from Ofsted, the only provider of their size and sector that can claim this accolade.