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Digital skills and training


The current pace of change for all businesses is unprecedented with new technologies, trends, mediums, materials and techniques meaning employers are needing digital capabilities within their workforce now more than ever. This has an impact on each and every company, the people they employ and future workforces, regardless of the sector. Employer-led training opportunities for individuals to upskill or acquire new skill sets in the digital sector has the potential for even greater positive impact for employers in the current challenging climate. Examples include:

  • social media

  • search engine marketing

  • data analytics

  • content and video marketing

  • email marketing

  • social selling

  • research and online resources.

Since Spring 2020, opportunities for traditional in-person workplace experiences have also been significantly impacted by the Covid 19 pandemic. One consequence of this has been the development of digital workplace experiences such as virtual tours, ‘meet the employee’ online panels, and virtual communities such as The Careers and Enterprise Company 2020. Further detail can be found here.

Did you know?

The need for digital work experience during the years of 2020 and 2021 has paved the way for the development of hybrid initiatives, which have the potential to combine the best of both online and in-person work experience opportunities. Localised sector support training and sector bootcamps are ideal for existing and new staff to attend to upskill and improve their knowledge in specific areas relating to their jobs.

The Heart of the South West Digital Skills Partnership was launched in June 2018 and brings together the public, private and third sector to tackle the digital skills divide in Somerset, Devon, Plymouth and Torbay. It is one of seven Local Digital Skills Partnerships (LDSP) delivered in conjunction with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

This Local Digital Skills Partnership is responsible for coordinating and delivering a digital strategy that raises digital skills for the community, working to eradicate social and geographical imbalances to ensure everyone has access to digital services. The partnership also focuses on workplace mobility; ensuring the right digital training is available for young people, those outside of the workforce, work returners and individuals looking to retrain. They champion an ethos that every workplace should be one where employees can continue to learn.

They also work closely with the region's education providers, to ensure young people are aware of the diverse range of digital careers available and that teaching staff are supported to keep pace with new technologies. Further information can be found here.

How it works in the city

The Digital Skills Bootcamp programme, funded through the National Skills Fund, includes different Digital and Technical Skills Bootcamps that have been designed to help local people advance or pivot their skills into growing sectors.

There are various sector led Skills Bootcamps delivered across the South West that can support your skills needs by connecting you with the learners/participants. Employers can also work with providers to develop a Digital Skills Bootcamp tailored to your business. For further information please contact the training providers local to you, as detailed below, to speak about your needs as an employer, to check availability, what is running and what is planned:

BIT Group (previously known as BluescreenIT)

IT Readiness

Cyber readiness

City College Plymouth

Core Digital and IT Skills

Digital Skills for Care Workers

Cornwall College

Digital Marketing

Digital for Health and Social Care

Digital Training for Tutors

Exeter College

Software Developer

Data Analyst

Digital Content

SWIFT Programming

New online digital support is now available to help employers in small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) to be more savvy with their digital skills. As part of the Digital Enablement for SMEs (DESME) project, an online self-assessment tool, called the Digital Maturity Index, has been launched by Devon County Council. It has been devised to enable employers to gain an understanding of the digital strengths and weaknesses in their business. It also offers insights into digital tools that may help their business to develop and grow. Find out more here.

Find out more

Find free local digital training courses through the Heart of the South West LEP Growth Hub here and local events on the South West Communities Calendar here.

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