Smart Machines & Factories
Online AI courses launched to overcome digital skills gap
Published:  10 June, 2020

Two online courses in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning have been launched by Duco Digital Training to bridge the digital skills gap and allow businesses to take a competitive advantage of this rapidly developing technology.

The company, based in Redcar, Teesside is claimed to be the first in the UK to offer the entry-level courses online accredited by the British Computer Society (BCS), the Chartered Institute for IT.

It currently offers the industry recognised BCS Essentials Certificate and BCS Foundation levels in AI, with plans to introduce more advanced courses in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, and Blockchain.

Darren Winter, director of Duco Digital Training, expects the courses will contribute to helping the UK bridge the digital skills gap, at a time when it is predicted the worldwide market for AI solutions will be worth more than £30bn by 2024 - boosting productivity by up to 30% in some industries, and generating savings of up to 25 percent.  Another estimate concludes that AI could generate up to $15.7 trillion to the global economy in 2030.

The current courses provide a basic understanding of the concept, its possibilities and complexities, technical jargon, and ethics, together with the practicalities of developing a live application.

Winter said: “These courses are aimed at businesses wishing to upskill their workforce or project managers and directors looking to diversify into the digital sector which will be the economy’s driving force in the future.

“It’s also a perfect opportunity for those considering a career change, undertaking research or for students of computing-related degrees.”

AI and Machine Learning is already developing at a fast pace and is transforming the way we both live and work – changing business practices across a range of sectors including finance, manufacturing, transport, accounting, and medicine.

WInter commented that while there are long-held concerns that AI could reduce employment levels, he said it created significant social and economic benefits by expanding job opportunities - allowing humans to work smarter and businesses to exceed their capabilities.

He added that the newly launched courses “recognises the need for this country to take the lead on AI and be at the forefront of its development. To do this, we must first have a basic understanding of a technology that will transform the UK’s future economy through the creation of new and exciting opportunities for business.”