The UK government has announced plans to hire 2,500 technology and digital recruits by 2025 via new apprenticeships and talent programmes as part of a fresh skills drive. The Cabinet Office said this will be kickstarted by a new digital apprenticeship programme which will support the recruitment of 500 early career entrants into digital roles this financial year across government.\n\nThis programme will provide the opportunity for both civil servants and new entrants to be recruited into the most in-demand data and technology roles, such as cybersecurity technologists and software developers.\n\nThe remaining 2,000 opportunities will include 1,300 additional digital apprenticeship programme roles, and 700 roles created through an expansion of existing departmental digital programmes, such as the Software Developer Programme, the government said.\n\nPrivate industry invited to tackle national challenges\n\nMeanwhile, experts from the private industry are being invited to work on the country\u2019s biggest challenges, such as cybersecurity and new emerging technology, with the launch of a new Digital Secondments Programme, which is now open for applications.\n\nEarlier this month, a report from the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) warned that a lack of cybersecurity experts in the UK government should be of significant concern. Pay constraints mean that government departments are unable to fully compete with the private sector in hard-to-recruit roles with shortages of cybersecurity experts, whose skills command a premium, a particular problem, according to the report.\n\nMeanwhile, some digital skills shortages are self-inflicted through counter-productive staffing cuts against the backdrop of a struggle to recruit and retain the necessary skilled people in the civil service\u2019s digital workforce, the report stated.\n\nUK civil service aims to harness power of digital, data, technology\n\n\u201cToday\u2019s announcement drives forward our plans for a modern civil service equipped with the skills and capabilities needed to harness the power of digital, data and technology,\u201d said Jeremy Quin, minister for the Cabinet Office. \u201cBy attracting and retaining the best talent, we will keep pace with technological change and deliver more efficient services for the British public.\u201d\n\nBoth the digital secondments programme and apprenticeship recruitment drive will support a new target for 6% of the overall civil service workforce to be members of the digital, data, and technology profession, the government said.\n\nThe announcements arrive as the Central Digital and Data Office (CDDO) published an update to the 2022-25 roadmap for digital and data. The updated roadmap announces the publication of a new framework for the government\u2019s use of generative AI to ensure departments can confidently and responsibly use this technology to improve services. This comes as the UK is set to host the first AI Summit in November.\n\nUK\u2019s tech skills recruitment drive is encouraging\n\nIt\u2019s encouraging that the UK government is investing heavily in the next generation of tech talent, said Sheila Flavell CBE, COO of IT recruiting, training, and deployment firm FDM Group, tells CSO. \u201cAt a time when AI and machine learning are at the top of the agenda for many boardrooms, the public sector has a fantastic opportunity to harness these technologies, enabling faster, more efficient public services.\u201d\n\nApprenticeships are a key gateway for many young people to enter the world of work, and this initiative will be both beneficial in terms of operations and empowering the government to build a more diverse workforce, made up of people from all backgrounds, she added.