The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has outlined a commitment to investing £20 million on staff training and development across the UK, in support of the government’s ‘Levelling Up’ job booster programme.
In addition to the investment plans, the betting and gaming industry standards association has also pledged to create 5,000 apprenticeships for young people in the sector between now and 2025, with the majority based outside London.
The BGC’s previous interactions with the government on job creation last saw the organisation call on Chancellor Rishi Sunak to introduce a ‘Budget for Jobs’ to the House of Commons in October 2021, in particular highlighting a need for support to the hospitality sector and high-street retailers.
By backing the levelling Up initiative, the BGC intends to support a programme which has a goal of creating opportunities by monitoring the progress of individuals across race, class, gender, sexuality and age to ensure equal opportunities and career paths across the UK.
“The government’s levelling up agenda is a fantastic opportunity to create more apprenticeships and tackle unemployment across the UK,” said Michael Dugher, BGC Chief Executive.
“Across the UK, from Stoke to Leeds, BGC members are investing in high tech jobs within their companies more than ever before. They stand ready to support the economic recovery after covid and provide the skills and opportunities that’s towns and cities need to thrive.”
Highlighting the betting and gaming sector’s economic contribution to the UK, the BGC has long held that gambling firms are ‘ready, willing and able’ to assist the British economy in its bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic, in particular highlighting the industry’s impact on non-London employment.
In its latest update, the organisation asserted that of the 119,000 jobs in UK betting, 20,000 are based in the West Midlands, 10,000 in Yorkshire and the Humber and a combined 9,000 in the North West and North East of England – a total of two-thirds outside of the capital. Of these betting workers, 61,000 are directly employed and 58,000 in the supply chain.
Notably betting industry employment develops in the North and Midlands over the past year have seen Flutter Entertainment’s Sky Bet open its £15 million technology and innovation hub in Leeds city centre, employing 1,700 staff from its UK, Ireland and international divisions, whilst 4,500 are employed at bet365’s HQ in Stoke-on-Trent.
Sharing his views on the BGC’s apprenticeship plans, Lord Walney, Engagement Director for the Levelling Up Goals at The Purpose Coalition, remarked: “Apprenticeships will play a huge part in the levelling up process, allowing companies to provide high quality training for thousands of young people.”
The BGC’s support for levelling Up follows on from Allwyn – then the UK corporate entity of international firm SAZKA Group, which has now adopted the brand entity across its entire operation – announcing its backing of the initiative last year, as the firm seeks to secure the next ten year operating licence of the National Lottery.