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GLOBAL REPORT PREDICTS EDTECH SPEND TO REACH $252BN BY 2020

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GLOBAL REPORT PREDICTS EDTECH SPEND TO REACH $252BN BY 2020

EdTechXGlobal releases key market drivers in global EdTech review and highlights changing nature of the workforce

Leading education technology-focused conference, EdTechXGlobal has today released its forecast for the biggest trends set to impact the EdTech industry in 2016, from a report produced in partnership with IBIS Capital. Ahead of the annual summit in June, the report also demonstrates how the EdTech market has changed dramatically, with a growing realisation of the impact EdTech is having on the way skills are acquired and developed for the 21st Century workforce.

The report finds EdTech market acceleration will be hugely dictated by the global education expenditure market, as education becomes increasingly more expensive. In fact, the market is now over $5tn, 8x the size of the software market and 3x size of the media and entertainment industry, yet education is only 2% digitised.  With the market expanding rapidly, so too is the annual summit, which will this year take place over two-days in London, with the launch of an inaugural Asian event in November.

“We expect a long rising tide rather than an avalanche, and as such, we need to manage our expectations accordingly,” explained Benjamin Vedrenne-Cloquette, Co-Founder, EdTechXGlobal. “We estimate that the speed of digitisation in education will be up to five times slower than has been seen in other sectors, due primarily to the increased number of gate keepers involved in digital transition decisions, teachers, institutions, governing bodies, districts and policy makers amongst a few”.

Education technology is becoming a global phenomenon, and as distribution and platforms scale internationally, the market is projected to grow at 17.0% per annum, to $252bn by 2020. To date, the US has set the trend and pace of the EdTech market. Asia is now experiencing the world’s fastest growth in investment into the sector, and Europe has seen increases in M&A; however, this region remains a largely under-invested and fragmented market.

Mobile penetration, particularly smartphones, will be a game-changer towards delivering and supporting learning, and driving growth. The report notes that North America, Europe and the commonwealth states lead in internet and mobile penetration, while substantial growth is expected across emerging markets, with mobile being a catalyst for delivering and supporting learning. With 90% of the world’s population under 30 already being in emerging markets, education and vocational training in the area will be led by mobile first strategies.

Population growth will be a key challenge for the EdTech sector. By 2035, there are expected to be 2.7bn students worldwide, and in order to meet higher education demand under the current structure; two universities need to be built per day, over the next twenty years. As such, the report states that this is leading education providers to seek ways to capitalise on growth by expanding their brand to export markets so individuals can access internationally recognised qualifications.

With the recognition of online education qualifications long representing a challenge for the industry, the report indicates that MOOC job conversion rates are increasing, largely driven by demand from employers for skilled workers. Although monetisation still remains unclear, the report draws up solid examples of successes in this respect with Coursera, an educational technology company that offers MOOCs, sited as being set to reach $30m in revenues per year thanks to its steps to solve marginal cost and positive impacts at a massive scale.

The report predicts a global workforce crisis powered by extreme automation.  The ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ will see an increase in workforce automation to include not only highly repetitive low-skill jobs, but also highly routine medium-skill jobs. This will accelerate disparity between the supply and demand of candidates and force employees to learn new skills, both within the workplace and in educational establishments.

Benjamin continues, “in a rapidly evolving economy where skill sets continue to progress at an accelerated pace, digital models offer a way to capture these changes and offer new routes for re-skilling as well as addressing widespread labour shortages, 50% of current jobs won’t exist in 2025, and consequently, there will be a growing need to re-train the workforce in order to address current skill gaps and increase the use of continuous learning.”

The report’s findings will be discussed in detail at the summit on 15th-16th June, during which more than 800 delegates and over 150 speakers are expected to come together to engage in keynote speeches, fireside chats and panel discussions, to share knowledge and champion growth in the EdTech sector. Formally known as EdTech Europe, the London event has grown exponentially over the last three years, undergoing a branding overhaul in 2016 to reflect a burgeoning interest from international delegates.  Now, along with the newly launched EdTechXAsia event, EdTechXEurope will sit under the EdTechXGlobal umbrella of events, to provide a truly worldwide platform for global EdTech experts, investors and innovators.

To see the full report from EdTechXGlobal or to find out more about upcoming summits, visit www.edtechxeurope.com.

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Sunak to use budget to expand apprenticeships in England

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Sunak to use budget to expand apprenticeships in England 1

LONDON (Reuters) – British finance minister Rishi Sunak will announce more funding for apprenticeships in England when he unveils his budget next week, the government said on Friday.

Employers taking part in the Apprenticeship Initiative Scheme will from April 1 receive 3,000 pounds ($4,179) for each apprentice hired, regardless of age – an increase on current grants of between 1,500 and 2,000 pounds depending on age.

The scheme will extended by six months until the end of September, the finance ministry said.

Sunak will also announce an extra 126 million pounds for traineeships for up to 43,000 placements.

Sunak’s March 3 budget will likely include a new round of spending to prop up the economy during what he hopes will be the last phase of lockdown, but he will also probably signal tax rises ahead to plug the huge hole in the public finances.

Sunak is also expected to announce a “flexi-job” apprenticeship scheme, whereby apprentices can join an agency and work for multiple employers in one sector, the finance ministry said.

“We know there’s more to do and it’s vital this continues throughout the next stage of our recovery, which is why I’m boosting support for these programmes, helping jobseekers and employers alike,” Sunak said in a statement.

(Reporting by Andy Bruce, editing by David Milliken)

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UK seeks G7 consensus on digital competition after Facebook blackout

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UK seeks G7 consensus on digital competition after Facebook blackout 2

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain is seeking to build a consensus among G7 nations on how to stop large technology companies exploiting their dominance, warning that there can be no repeat of Facebook’s one-week media blackout in Australia.

Facebook’s row with the Australian government over payment for local news, although now resolved, has increased international focus on the power wielded by tech corporations.

“We will hold these companies to account and bridge the gap between what they say they do and what happens in practice,” Britain’s digital minister Oliver Dowden said on Friday.

“We will prevent these firms from exploiting their dominance to the detriment of people and the businesses that rely on them.”

Dowden said recent events had strengthened his view that digital markets did not currently function properly.

He spoke after a meeting with Facebook’s Vice-President for Global Affairs, Nick Clegg, a former British deputy prime minister.

“I put these concerns to Facebook and set out our interest in levelling the playing field to enable proper commercial relationships to be formed. We must avoid such nuclear options being taken again,” Dowden said in a statement.

Facebook said in a statement that the call had been constructive, and that it had already struck commercial deals with most major publishers in Britain.

“Nick strongly agreed with the Secretary of State’s (Dowden’s) assertion that the government’s general preference is for companies to enter freely into proper commercial relationships with each other,” a Facebook spokesman said.

Britain will host a meeting of G7 leaders in June.

It is seeking to build consensus there for coordinated action toward “promoting competitive, innovative digital markets while protecting the free speech and journalism that underpin our democracy and precious liberties,” Dowden said.

The G7 comprises the United States, Japan, Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Canada, but Australia has also been invited.

Britain is working on a new competition regime aimed at giving consumers more control over their data, and introducing legislation that could regulate social media platforms to prevent the spread of illegal or extremist content and bullying.

(Reporting by William James; Editing by Gareth Jones and John Stonestreet)

 

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Britain to offer fast-track visas to bolster fintechs after Brexit

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Britain to offer fast-track visas to bolster fintechs after Brexit 3

By Huw Jones

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain said on Friday it would offer a fast-track visa scheme for jobs at high-growth companies after a government-backed review warned that financial technology firms will struggle with Brexit and tougher competition for global talent.

Finance minister Rishi Sunak said that now Britain has left the European Union, it wants to make sure its immigration system helps businesses attract the best hires.

“This new fast-track scale-up stream will make it easier for fintech firms to recruit innovators and job creators, who will help them grow,” Sunak said in a statement.

Over 40% of fintech staff in Britain come from overseas, and the new visa scheme, open to migrants with job offers at high-growth firms that are scaling up, will start in March 2022.

Brexit cut fintechs’ access to the EU single market and made it far harder to employ staff from the bloc, leaving Britain less attractive for the industry.

The review published on Friday and headed by Ron Kalifa, former CEO of payments fintech Worldpay, set out a “strategy and delivery model” that also includes a new 1 billion pound ($1.39 billion) start-up fund.

“It’s about underpinning financial services and our place in the world, and bringing innovation into mainstream banking,” Kalifa told Reuters.

Britain has a 10% share of the global fintech market, generating 11 billion pounds ($15.6 billion) in revenue.

The review said Brexit, heavy investment in fintech by Australia, Canada and Singapore, and the need to be nimbler as COVID-19 accelerates digitalisation of finance, all mean the sector’s future in Britain is not assured.

It also recommends more flexible listing rules for fintechs to catch up with New York.

“We recognise the need to make the UK attractive a more attractive location for IPOs,” said Britain’s financial services minister John Glen, adding that a separate review on listings rules would be published shortly.

“Those findings, along with Ron’s report today, should provide an excellent evidence base for further reform.”

SCALING UP

Britain pioneered “sandboxes” to allow fintechs to test products on real consumers under supervision, and the review says regulators should move to the next stage and set up “scale-boxes” to help fintechs navigate red tape to grow.

“It’s a question of knowing who to call when there’s a problem,” said Kay Swinburne, vice chair of financial services at consultants KPMG and a contributor to the review.

A UK fintech wanting to serve EU clients would have to open a hub in the bloc, an expensive undertaking for a start-up.

“Leaving the EU and access to the single market going away is a big deal, so the UK has to do something significant to make fintechs stay here,” Swinburne said.

The review seeks to join the dots on fintech policy across government departments and regulators, and marshal private sector efforts under a new Centre for Finance, Innovation and Technology (CFIT).

“There is no framework but bits of individual policies, and nowhere does it come together,” said Rachel Kent, a lawyer at Hogan Lovells and contributor to the review.

($1 = 0.7064 pounds)

(Reporting by Huw Jones; editing by Jane Merriman and John Stonestreet)

 

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