Join our community and choose your future
We’re building Cloud9 Connect, an online platform that will train, mentor, support and offer jobs to people who might otherwise be overlooked by the digital economy.
We will create one million new digital roles in the UK by 2025. Make one of them yours.
Our mission: to create one million digital jobs
Technology is transforming every business model and workplace – and the pace of this digital revolution has created a need for skills that will grow exponentially.
We’re building Cloud9 Connect, an online platform that will train, support and offer career opportunities to at least one million people, many of whom would otherwise be overlooked by recruiters and employers, by 2025.
If you’re interested in learning new skills or in finding a new career…if you want to meet like-minded learners or mentors…if you’re an employer or trainer who wants to drive forward Britain’s digital revolution…or if you want to be a founding member, or even a beta tester for Cloud9 Connect, then register below and we’ll ensure you’re among the first to know about our launch in December 2021.
Tell the world about Cloud9 Connect
We believe in an inclusive economy that will flourish if digital training, skills and jobs become available to those who have been overlooked. If you believe that too, please share our story.
The UK is facing a perfect storm: an economy hit by Covid and a growing digital skills shortage just as we enter the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Cloud9 Connect fills a major gap in the market for the first multi-sided Platform to train, mentor and create jobs for the next generation of digitally-skilled workers so they can drive our economy forward.
The UK will need an urgent increase of at least 50% in the number of skilled people in digital careers by 2025. Yet, the nation is hampered by several factors:
- Shortage of digital skills training available
- Lack of trained talent to fill emerging digital posts
- Our habit of overlooking potential talent, including the socially-economically disadvantaged, the neurodiverse and other non-traditional sources of talent
- Disconnectedness of employers, learners and training establishments
- Lack of a single source of information about training related to career paths available, such as apprenticeships, work placements and work experience
The Cloud9 Connect Platform will solve these problems by connecting learners from a previously untapped pool of talent with learning, training, mentoring, coaching, work placements, apprenticeships and employers to increase employment.
This Platform will create social impact and economic growth on a national scale. Much of the content learners will access will be free, regardless of their postcode - they will only need a device connected to the Internet.
Learners will include school leavers, university students and graduates, early-in-careers workers, work returners and reskillers, neurodivergent individuals, educationally or economically under-privileged people, and lifelong learners. We will connect them to employers, training providers, mentors and to each other.
Traditional recruiters often overlook new sources of digital talent, employers are struggling to find talent and those early-in-careers or re-skilling are finding it difficult to step up on the ladder to access emerging well-paid digital career paths. Cloud9 Connect will create new content to educate and inspire, as well as tap into the existing wealth of incredible learning resources that exist in one easy-to-access central Platform. Ultimately, we will create one million new jobs.
Cloud9 Connect will leverage Microsoft technology and a mobile App, to be scalable, secure and to offer a first-rate user experience. Every moment will present an opportunity to enter 'a classroom in your hand'. It will use artificial intelligence to guide people on bespoke career paths, and to inform continual Platform enhancements over the next decade.
Employers will be able to accelerate their competitive advantage and growth through access to new sources of talent.
Who we're connecting and why
“Digital skills are the currency of digital transformation. For individuals, organisations and the UK as a whole, they will play a vital role in unlocking the way forward.”
Simon Lambert, Chief Learning Officer for Microsoft
In the quarter to end of December 2020, unemployment rose by 726,000 to 5.1%, three fifths of whom were under 25 (ONS).
The Open University’s 2019 Bridging the Digital Divide report found that 88% of UK organisations across all sectors had a shortage of digital skills and that this was harming their ability to compete internationally.
That year, a study by global professional services firm, Deloitte showed that only 25% of the country’s executives felt their talent pool had the capabilities required to deliver their digital strategies.
Microsoft UK's 2021 survey of 554 business leaders, "Unlocking the UK's potential with digital skills", revealed that 69% believed their organisation had a digital skills gap.
Some 44% feared the current lack of digital skills within their organisation will have a fairly negative impact on their success in the next year.
In 2017, 1.87m people were employed in UK digital tech jobs, according to Tech Nation’s A Bright Tech Future report.
Yet, the UK needs more than three million skilled people in technology careers by 2025, according to Microsoft.
A recent report by McKinsey suggests the situation is likely to get worse and predicts big skills shortages throughout the 2020s.
Who is behind Cloud9 Connect?
The idea for the Cloud9 Connect Platform has been born out of Cloud9 Insight, a Microsoft Gold Partner that specialises in migrating on premise CRM to cloud systems.
Cloud9's CEO, Carlene Jackson, is considered a thought leader in apprenticeships and upskilling the economy for a digital future. Carlene is Diversity & Inclusion Lead on the International Association of Microsoft Channel Partners, and an ambassador for dyslexia & youth employment. She wrote about the idea of a single UK apprenticeships Platform for Computer Weekly, after urging the All-Party Parliamentary Committee on Apprentices to back the idea. Carlene has just been shortlisted for the prestigious 'Woman of the Year' category in the Women in IT national awards.