Blueprint launched to improve digital skills in the region - The Solihull Observer

Blueprint launched to improve digital skills in the region

Solihull Editorial 28th Sep, 2023   0

HELP IS at hand for jobseekers and employers alike across the West Midlands after a blueprint has been launched to help people land unfilled roles due to a digital skills shortage.

To help more people get the skills they need to take advantage of the 2,000 job vacancies on offer, the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) and the Good Things Foundation have launched the Digital Skills Blueprint.

The project is the culmination of more than 12 months of work with colleges, local authorities and the voluntary and community sector on how to increase digital inclusion.

It will West Midlands businesses, colleges and other skills providers with a targeted curriculum to give residents the training and confidence they need as well as the key building blocks to support them through accredited training.

According to the WMCA around 22 per cent of the region’s population are completely offline – the highest figure of any region in the UK and over half the West Midlands population do not have the essential digital skills needed for work despite 84 per cent of firms saying that data skills are crucial to their company.

West Midlands Mayor, Andy Street, said: “We’ve been steadily improving our digital skills offer over the last few years since skills devolution got underway in earnest – increasing the scope and volume of training and skills bootcamps.

“The next step in our offer is this Digital Skills Blueprint – helping skills providers to practically reduce the digital divide that still sadly leaves some local people and communities behind.

“We will continue to harness the significant funds that the WMCA already commits to developing digital skills – using the Adult Education Budget and £4million secured for digital devices.”

The blueprint offers a framework for colleges and training providers to support residents with everyday digital tasks such as setting up passwords, using the internet, creating documents, using online banking, and applying online for jobs.


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