Press release

Minister announces new digital technology partnership in Wales

Matt Hancock announced a tech partnership between the Office for National Statistics and Alacrity for the next generation of digital talent.

Minister for the Cabinet Office, Matthew Hancock, today visited South Wales to announce a new partnership between the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and Newport educational charity Alacrity.

The new partnership will bring the digital expertise of Alacrity to the ONS, one of Newport’s biggest employers, as it develops and modernises the UK’s key economic statistics.

The minister visited Alacrity – the UK’s only charity tech incubator – and saw for himself the Welsh digital revolution taking place. Alacrity’s mission is to mentor the brightest graduates in Wales to create a new generation of British digital workers.

During his visit, the minister met students going through their Graduate Entrepreneurship programme as well as companies that have completed it. He also visited the Office for National Statistics headquarters in Newport.

Matthew Hancock, Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General, said:

Digital technology has the potential to revitalise government and business, supporting the economy and the UK.

The potential to revolutionise and build organisations through high quality digital skills should not be underestimated, and businesses such as Alacrity are changing the digital landscape of Wales through training and developing skills.

Professor Simon Gibson, Chair of the Alacrity Foundation’s trustees, said:

I am delighted Alacrity and the ONS are collaborating to accelerate the growth of Wales’ and the United Kingdom’s digital economies. We are proud of our unique status as a charitable tech incubator, providing access to seasoned world class mentors and creating the next generation of British tech companies in Wales. For this reason it seems entirely appropriate we should forge a relationship with a world class body like the ONS.

John Pullinger, National Statistician from the Office of National Statistics, said:

As the home of the UK’s economic statistics, it is vitally important that ONS Newport fully embraces the current revolution in data technology.

It offers the ability to produce important economic indicators like employment, prices and GDP faster and more reliably than ever before. To do so we need to develop new skills and new ways of doing things. We will be looking to work closely with impressive local initiatives such as the Alacrity Foundation and the National Software Academy to help make it happen.

The minister also met with a range of digital innovators and entrepreneurs in Cardiff which, alongside, Newport, is the fastest growing tech cluster in the UK.