Local Digital Skills Partnerships to reach three more regions

The government is to double the number of Local Digital Skills Partnerships to cover more areas in the south east, south west and north west of England.

Joe Lepper | 15th Mar 19
Image shows sign outside the Department for Digtia, Cultura, Media and Sport

The government is to create three more Local Digital Skills Partnerships, which bring together charities, councils, businesses and academics to boost digital skills in their region.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has announced it is to create partnerships in the South East of England, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly as well as in Cheshire and Warrington.

Work within partnerships includes offering free training opportunities to individuals and organisations in basic online skills, cyber security and coding.

The move will double the number of partnerships, with the first three launched last year in Lancashire, Heart of the South West and the West Midlands. It also takes their scope to 10 million people.

Local Digital Skills Partnerships are run through Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), a network of 38 cross-sector regional groups working to improve their local economy and improve workforce skills.

“By investing in the region, working with government and our partners, we can radically increase our contribution to the UK economy, while pioneering new systems, technologies and skills ways of working,” said Clare Harris, Senior Skills Officer for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly LEP.

Philip Cox, Chief Executive of Cheshire and Warrington LEP added: “Cheshire and Warrington LEP are keen to build upon our already dynamic economy by embracing and encouraging the skills our businesses need now and in the future.

“The Local Digital Skills Partnership will enable us to continue supporting the growth of our priority sectors as we move towards delivery of our Local Industrial Strategy.”

Digital Skills Innovation Fund awards

Meanwhile, the government has announced the regions that will share £1m in Digital Skills Innovation Fund money, to help under represented groups gain tech and digital skills.

The money will be shared between Lancashire LEP, Heart of the South West LEP, and the West of England Combined Authority. Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire LEP will also receive a share for work in collaboration with Sheffield City Region, Leicestershire LEP and Greater Lincolnshire LEP.

Digital training schemes being funded include those that target women, people with autism and those from disadvantaged backgrounds.