Digital Skills Partnership

09 Apr 2019


The Heart of the South West Digital Skills Partnership was launched in June 2018, bringing together the public, private and third sector to tackle the digital skills divide in Somerset, Devon, Plymouth and Torbay. The Heart of the South West is one of three areas in the country to be selected to form a Local Digital Skills Partnership (LDSP), part of a pilot by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

The local partnership is responsible for coordinating and delivering a digital strategy that raises digital skills for our community, working to eradicate social and geographical imbalances to ensure everyone has access 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, employees looking to retrain and supports a workplace where the regions highly skilled digital employees can continue to learn. We work closely with the regions education providers to ensure young people are aware of the diverse range of careers and are supported to enter into digital jobs, and that teaching staff are supported to teach digital subjects that keep pace with new technologies.

As a Local Digital Skills Partnership, we work in tandem with the National Digital Skills Partnership Board to ensure that the Government’s UK Digital Strategy is responsive to local needs and in return the local area can make the most of national opportunities, sector analysis to inform delivery, cross-government department collaboration and funding opportunities to overcome digital challenges.

Phil Smith, co-chair of the National Digital Skills Board said of the digital challenge “We are at a pivotal point. Technological developments are transforming the way we live and work. Our ability to continue on a path of innovation will be determined by our commitment as a nation to ensuring that everyone has the skills they need to support, and benefit from, a thriving digital economy.”

The Heart of the South West Local Digital Skills Partnership consists of 25 partners representing the public, private and third sector who meet bi-monthly. The partnership is supported by a Partnership Manager who is responsible for translating the partnerships ambition into tangible delivery on the ground that meets the needs of the region, delivering the Digital Skills Action Plan for 2019 onwards.

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