Waltham Forest Council launches world-class Data Academy to upskill staff in analysis techniques


Waltham Forest Council and Multiverse to launch Data Academy to train over 50 employees with skills for the future

Over 50 employees of Waltham Forest Council will have the opportunity to master data wrangling and analysis techniques through data apprenticeships delivered in partnership with Multiverse. The £1m+ investment comes via the government-funded Apprenticeship Levy. Those taking part will be enrolled on Multiverse’s Data Literacy course or the more advanced Data Fellowship course.

The 13-month Data Literacy programme covers the core technical skills required to transform data into insights, as well as softer skills like building narratives and presenting findings. Meanwhile, the 15-month Data Fellowship course will give apprentices the skills to clean, analyse and model data, and tell data stories to non-specialists.

Research by the UK Government has found that almost a quarter of employees use advanced data skills in their work, yet a shortage of skills in this area is estimated to cost UK businesses £2bn a year. Waltham Forest employees spend almost three hours a day with data, according to a survey conducted by Multiverse.

New data skills will enable the local authority to deliver high quality services to residents and gain new insights into its planning and delivery.

Cllr Liaqat Ali MBE, Cabinet Member for Transformation and Commercial Operations, said: “Data lays the ground for everything we do as a council and is an essential ingredient for serving our residents in a cost-effective and efficient way. Improved data literacy will allow employees to explore innovative and exciting solutions and test them with confidence, making Waltham Forest an even braver and bolder borough where members of staff know they are tackling the right challenges for our residents.”

The training will be delivered by Multiverse, a start-up tech company focused on high-quality education and training through a unique professional apprenticeship model. Multiverse delivers apprenticeships in areas such as software engineering, project management and data analytics.

Jeremy Duggan, president at Multiverse, said: “Working efficiently with data is key for all organisations - and for local authorities it's essential for delivering high quality services to residents. Waltham Forest Council is leading the way by building skills within its teams through a far-reaching Data Academy. Apprentices will benefit from Multiverse’s intensive coaching and applied learning, to develop rich skills in the most high-demand areas that will serve them for their career."