A LEADING tech company is hoping to clear a new path for women and under-represented groups into the industry.

East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce Members IN4.0 hope that the newly established Skills City will help to fast track 450 women into cutting edge digital technology careers across the North West every year.

Programmes launched by Skills City, based at IN4.0's HOST facility in MediaCityUK in Salford, will also aim to boost ethnic minority representation in the industry.

IN4.0 Group CEO Mo Isap said: “Diversity and inclusion is in our DNA at HOST and we see Skills City as a bridge between education and responsible employers.

"We understand that offering training courses is not enough, especially now when unemployment is at an all-time high, and while many career routes have been shut down, digital skills continue to be in demand.

"We will be launching recruitment in April and building a community of tech talent from the most diverse and underrepresented backgrounds to support them through their journey into employment."

With women remaining largely underrepresented in the tech sector, with only 17 per cent of the tech workforce in the UK being women, the group has committed that 50 per cent of learners will be on the programme will be women.

People from disadvantaged backgrounds have also been encouraged to look to Skills City as an alternative way into the tech sector.

Meanwhile, IN4.0 is also planning to launch a series of events in partnership with the University of Central Lancashire aimed at supporting and developing manufacturing and engineering businesses in the region.

IN4.0 Access, as the programme is known, will also be run at the group's HOST facility and aims to give enrepreneurs access to learning and coaching from the industry’s best change experts.

Mr Isap said: “While we are working in unprecedented times, it is imperative that we continue learning, knowledge sharing and engaging with each other.

"Many businesses have been impacted by the pandemic, none more so than some of our aerospace and supply chain manufacturers, so the need for digital and cloud technology adoption has never been greater."

To find out more, go to: https://in40.co.uk/.