Blueprint on region's digital future is launched - The Solihull Observer

Blueprint on region's digital future is launched

Solihull Editorial 24th Feb, 2024   0

A BLUEPRINT setting out how the West Midlands can join forces to give residents the skills needed to boost the region’s digital economy has been launched.

The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) has refreshed its Digital Roadmap, setting out how it will work with partners to digitally upskill residents, connect even more people and businesses to broadband, and drive better use of data and technology to improve public services and reduce the region’s carbon footprint.

The roadmap does, however, acknowledge some of the barriers to the region’s digital ambitions.

This includes 46 per cent of the population being non or limited users of the internet, indicating high levels of digital poverty and exclusion and fewer people in the region using digital public services compared to the national average.

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “Whether it’s developing a smart ticketing scheme to make it easier to use our public transport network, investing in digital bootcamps to improve the skills of thousands of local people or our pioneering Smart City Region programme that is harnessing technology to improve health outcomes, we’re proving here on the ground that digital done right can change lives for the better.”

The WMCA say statistics showing the region’s tech sector to be worth £15.3billion, with 2,400 businesses employing 144,000 people.




Martin Ward, the West Midlands Tech Commissioner, said: “It’s essential that we fully embrace new digital technologies as a key driver of future economic growth in our region. Our tech sector has transformed over a generation and there are now job opportunities here in start-ups, scale-ups and major enterprises that were previously only available in London. We must build on that momentum and be bold in our actions to realise the potential we have to become a global tech superpower in our own right.”


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