Oxford Foundry has partnered with Ripple's University Blockchain Research Initiative (UBRI) in order to counter the lack of tech skills in the United Kingdom. The partnership would offer a chance to 1000 university students across all Oxford colleges and divisions to harness new skills in blockchain, artificial intelligence, and machine learning.
Students will also be provided with coding sessions where they can learn to code in python using which they can build new smart contracts. The partnership would work under Oxford's Tech series, where the Foundry would organize numerous workshops and boot camps for students to learn various niches of the emerging tech industry.
The Tech series would also promote peer-to-peer learning allowing students to learn from each other as theory suggests learning from your peer not only help you understand the subject better but also enhance the skills and knowledge of peers who are teaching you. Ana Bakshi, Director of the Oxford Foundry said,
“We’re absolutely delighted to be partnering with Ripple. The UK has a big tech skills gap and we’re helping address that. Since 2014 the number of AI job postings has increased by 485% and a quarter of companies highlight that a lack of available AI talent is a primary inhibitor in their efforts to adopt AI (Gartner). There are 2.4 million students studying at universities in the UK and we have a responsibility as a university to nurture our future global workforce and give them the skills and experience they need to succeed.”
The Oxford Foundry's Tech series would also create a Tech Talent Networking Series which would connect talented students to market leaders in the field of blockchain and AI, which would create awareness and enthusiasm among students to focus on emerging topics and publish expertise.
The aim of the foundry is to create evolving tech skills among the upcoming generations of university students and provide them with equal opportunities and nurture talent from all demographics. Eric van Miltenburg, SVP of Global Operations at Ripple said,
“Ripple’s University Blockchain Research Initiative was founded to support university-level research and innovation in blockchain around the world. Today, a key focus of the initiative is to address the blockchain skills gap as the need for talent in this emerging technology category continues to grow. In fact, an earlier study found that 89 percent of UK employers expect a shortage of skilled technology professionals in the next year — and we believe academia plays a key role in preparing the next generation of students through courses, workshops and activations related to blockchain and financial technology.”