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Digital

The West Midlands has the fastest growing digital sector outside of London and an ambition to become a global tech sector. To achieve this, we need to create the right environment for businesses to invest and grow and importantly we need to make sure the talent is available for businesses to recruit.

In order to achieve this there are a number of obstacles that need to be overcome:

  • an increasing digital skills shortages, impacting on most of the region’s key sectors
  • the lack of clarity about which skills are most needed and how best to address gaps in provision
  • limited capability across the region’s FE colleges, with digital provision currently focused on low-level IT skills
  • the myriad of good initiatives, which need alignment and support in scaling up to achieve greater impact
  • limited engagement with national private-sector and government-led initiatives

To address these issues the Digital Skill Partnership was created, with a key emphasis on doing this while considering the below areas of focus: 

  1. young people and future careers
  2. training and retraining
  3. digital entitlement and inclusivity
  4. relevance and capacity

 

Power Up 

Power Up is our campaign to promote digital training and skills development within businesses and among residents of the West Midlands. Help to support this campaign to improve digital skills in our region.

Find out more and download Power Up campaign resources.

 

Microsoft Resources

The Microsoft Learning Repository gives you free access to online learning and resources.

Microsoft Learning Repository

Meet the Digital Skills Partnership board members


Lee Jones

Lee Jones - Digital Skills Lead, Microsoft

Lee is the Local and Regional Government Digital Skills lead for Microsoft UK. She is absolutely passionate about driving digital skills across both the public sector and into communities to ensure no-one is left behind.

"Talent is everywhere - but the opportunity is not. I want to help create the opportunity to empower everyone with digital skills for a more prosperous fulfilling future.

Enthusiasm, innovation, thought leadership and strategic thinking are my strengths."

Dr David J Hardman Mbe

Dr David J Hardman MBE - Managing Director, Bruntwood SciTech

David has a 25-year career in knowledge transfer which includes leading science parks to promote commercial exploitation of new technology concepts in knowledge-based businesses.

In 2008, he developed and implemented a new strategy to build on the legacy of Aston Science Park the result of which is the Innovation Birmingham Campus - the region’s digital technology hub.

"Provocation of digital talent agenda for a modern economy; focus on opportunity for all - diversification of the talent base addressing career pathways based on digital capabilities as well as academic achievement. "

Nguarda

Nuno Guarda - Head of Corporate Affairs UK & Ireland, Cisco Systems

Nuno manages Cisco’s Corporate Social Responsibility programmes and initiatives, with a big focus on Networking Academy. Networking Academy is a non-commercial digital skills programme to equip people for  an ever increasingly connected world.

"Knowledge about the Education sector, its challenges and opportunities. Connections to other industry partners."

Nuno manages Cisco’s Corporate Social Responsibility programmes and initiatives, with a big focus on Networking Academy. Networking Academy is a non-commercial digital skills programme to equip people for  an ever increasingly connected world.

"Knowledge about the Education sector, its challenges and opportunities. Connections to other industry partners."

Angela Jeffery

Angela Jeffery - Director of Regional Strategy, Aston University

Angela is a member of a senior manager at Aston University working on regional strategy and projects. She is also a Knowledge Exchange Professional with over 17 years’ experience of bringing together academic and external organisations to collaborate for mutual benefit. She has served on numerous regional bodies to support the digital sector. In 2019, she became the Digital Leaders Midlands local champion.

"I have a good understanding of the priorities for the region as well as the importance of education and digital skills and the local ecosystem."

Jatinder Sharma Head And Shoulder Shot

Jatinder Sharma - Principal/Chief Executive, Walsall College

Jatinder is the Chief Executive of Walsall College, which employs more than 850 people and delivers technical and vocational qualifications, apprenticeships and Higher education to 15,000 students at 5 campuses. His institution also provides online learning and on-the-job training to many local employers.

"I am a keen driver for prosperity in Walsall and the wider region.

Improving digital literacy and access to technologies is key to this, ensuring that students possess the right skills to support our economy."

John Pritchard

John Pritchard - Director/Co-founder, Accelerate People

John now runs a 'Digital End-point Assessment Organisation' to help validate apprenticeships. He has worked across a range of director roles and businesses after leaving the military 20 years ago. His background and experience in telecoms and technology sector has supported large and small employers with digital solutions and training.

"I bring broad range of experience in many sectors with requirements for digital skills.

I have a diverse knowledge of the digital sector, apprenticeship landscape and small-to-medium sized business requirements and skills gaps."

Productivity and Skills press release