London launches bootcamp to improve digital skills in local government

London launches bootcamp to improve digital skills in local government

The London Office of Technology and Innovation (LOTI) and the Office for National Statistics’ (ONS) Data Science Campus is launching a bootcamp to increase data science skills across London’s local government.


The programme aims to improve local government officers’ ability to help London boroughs and the Greater London Authority (GLA) to use data to gain a deeper understanding of the city, underpin policy and design more effective services.


Fifteen officers working for London boroughs and the GLA have been selected for the pilot cohort of this new data science bootcamp.


The 12-week programme blends structured training with project-based mentoring and will develop coding and analysis skills for data matching projects.


“Joining up and analysing data is vital to the city’s response to the pandemic but when the crisis struck we simply didn’t have enough native data scientists working across local government,” said Theo Blackwell, London’s chief digital officer.

“As public services look at prevention – ill-health, homelessness, poverty, violent crime – these all require a more sophisticated approach to sharing data and having the right teams in place to make a difference with it.


“So it’s really important that all public services develop their in-house data capability and I’m delighted the City Hall is supporting this work with ONS to upskill a new cohort of data scientists to support local public services.”


The programme is modelled on the applied training approach delivered by the ONS Data Science Campus, tailored in collaboration with LOTI, London boroughs and the GLA to meet the needs of data scientists and analysts working in London government.


The programme also equips graduates to teach colleagues what they have learned thanks to a “train the trainer” approach, enabling these skills to be shared at pace.


“Using data intelligently and responsibly is absolutely key to enabling local government to be truly responsive to their residents’ needs,” said Eddie Copeland, director of LOTI.


“This programme will help ensure that London boroughs have access to advanced data skills in-house, aiding them in using the information at their disposal to deliver better, more coordinated services for Londoners.”


LOTI was founded in 2019 and since its inception has made improving digital leadership within London local government a major priority. In its second year, learning from the insights gained during the pandemic, the focus has shifted to data and its benefits to more intelligent service delivery in future. LOTI has organised a series of events this week to celebrate its achievements and share plans for the future.

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