The sixth Local Digital Skills Partnership (DSP) launched in Hastings, Sussex, which looks to support regional businesses, education providers, and public sector partners to tackle digital skills challenges.
In 2018, three Local DSPs were set up in Lancashire, Heart of the South West and the West Midlands. A further three regions were selected and over the course of 2019, Local DSPs have been launched in Cornwall and Isles of Scilly, Cheshire and Warrington, and the South East.
It is great to see this initiative expand as its need cannot be understated. An estimated 1.2 million digitally skilled people will be needed in the UK by 2022. The South East area alone had over 30,000 digital based job vacancies within a year. Many companies are experiencing real difficulties in finding employees with the skill-set they require. With demand growing, in particular in regions outside London, government has recognised that we need to boost efforts to re-skill, recruit, and retain people into these roles.
Christian Brodie, chairman of South East Local Enterprise Partnership, aims for the new Local DSP to build on existing innovation and experience in the area to ensure the region is ready and skilled – and for this to be reflected in the local industrial strategy. The founding of the Partnership is backed by £75,000 from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport that aims to deliver a digital skills training provision that will creat new jobs and encourage people to take on a digtial role.
Having these digital skills be inclusive and accessible were discussed at the event to be a priority of the South East Local DSP, which is also a major focus of techUK. At the event, a keynote from Google’s Michaela Neild, looking at ensuring that digital skills are placed at the heart of lifelong learning, showed that ensuring access for all and breaking down barriers to employment are key ambitions for the Local DSP.
A spotlight was also placed on the regions' people and partners whose great work and plans the Local DSP hopes to build on. By raising the profile of local growth sectors in a new and exciting way, the Local DSP aims for further investment and talent to be attracted to the South East.