DIGITAL SKILLS PARTNERSHIP
DIGITAL SKILLS PARTNERSHIP
In 2019 the Cheshire and Warrington Local Digital Skills Partnership launched.
What is the Digital Skills Partnership?
The Digital Skills Partnership is a group of employers and other organisation who recognise the growing importance of digital skills to all the businesses and residents of Cheshire and Warrington. The Partnership works together with businesses and training providers to develop the skills of the current and future workforces so businesses can fully utilise new digital technologies.
What is it for?
The Digital Skills Partnership will ensure there is a focus on digital skills as we deliver the two priorities of our skills and education action plan:
- Businesses being at the heart of inspiring and informing young people about new technologies and career opportunities so they make informed decisions about the training and education that they choose; and
- Businesses working together with training providers to improve the quality of training available to employees and individual learners who want to acquire the digital skills they need for work or to function in an increasingly digital age.
How does it help me?
The Digital Skills Partnership works with businesses and training providers to develop the skills of the current and future workforces to enable them to take full advantage of new digital technologies. It also helps residents and employees across Cheshire and Warrington to acquire the digital skills they need to live in an increasingly digital economy and move into work or to progress in work.
Essential Digital Skills Needed to Live and Work Remotely
The Cheshire and Warrington Digital Skills Partnership is raising awareness of some of the digital tools and online support materials that may help in the short term during these business-critical times. Access the Covid-19 – Digital Skills Online Resources and Support page for information on online resources and training that are freely available to help local residents including business leaders, people working on site or from home and teachers and trainers.
This initial guidance is focused on developing the essential digital skills needed to live and work remotely, including to develop a website and sell online, stay safe and access public services.
If you identify other training needs that might have a cost associated with them then if you are a business based in Cheshire and Warrington then funding for up to 40% of the cost of the training may be available to you, smaller businesses may be eligible for 100% funding. More details can be found at http://candwgrowthhub.co.uk/accelerate/ or contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
The Pledge team have collated a selection of resources to help young people explore their career interests and personal development. further details can be found here – Pledge Resources.
Launch of Digital Boost – 09/06/2020
Digital Boost has been created to provide free digital advice for small businesses and charities impacted by coronavirus, provided by expert volunteers.
The platform hosts a community of digital experts, who will offer one-to-one digital support to small businesses and charities free of charge to help them improve their digital capability to grow and prosper. Digitalboost.org.uk is on a mission to help small businesses and charities get the essential digital skills they need and by extension more customers and revenue streams through online channels.
Digital Boost is accepting support requests from small businesses and charitable organisations needing help and applications for volunteer requests at https://www.digitalboost.org.uk/
Getting Students Online
13% of secondary school students in Cheshire and Warrington don’t have access to a computer or broadband connectivity. This means more than 1 in 10 are unable to participate in virtual schooling. Research indicates that our young people will be impacted more greatly than many other groups and by the time many return to school in September may have lost the equivalent of a full years academic progress.
In response the LEP has launched #GettingStudentsOnline, a campaign asking businesses in Cheshire and Warrington to help get as many of our students as possible online quickly, so they can access online schooling, summer-camps and all-class activities. The LEP, along with local employers Storengy, Engie and AO, have kick-started the campaign by donating 138 kit bundles to schools across Cheshire and Warrington. The bundles comprise an entry level educational device and 3 months broadband access and cost £250.
For information on how to donate please click here.
Department for Education Advice – Laptops and Tablets to Access Remote Learning (last updated 7 January 2021)
The Department for Education (DfE) is providing laptops and tablets to help children and families access remote education during coronavirus (COVID-19). For information on How schools, colleges, academy trusts and local authorities can access digital devices for children who are learning remotely please click here.
BT Offering 6 Months Free Internet Access to Disadvantaged Children
BT has been working on with Department of Education (DfE), bringing BT Wi-fi access to children and families with no internet access at home via our c5.4 million Wi-fi hotspots to help with online learning.
This will be an option of “first resort” for those who are most in need. The Wi-fi access vouchers will give users unlimited data, on up to three devices at a time for 6 months. The vouchers will allow access with comprehensive content filtering to ensure child safety, and will point to online resources from BT’s own Skills for Tomorrow and Barefoot learning programmes as well as BBC Bitesize and others.
Distribution is being handled directly by the DfE, which will issue families with the necessary voucher usernames and passwords. Local Education Authorities and Academy Trusts in England will be invited to request vouchers, working with their schools to identify those children who are most in need – LEAs and Academy Trust wanting to know more should contact COVID.TECHNOLOGY@education.gov.uk.
Everyone Connected (formerly DevicesDotNow)
Good Things Foundation is coordinating action through a new initiative, Everyone Connected (formerly DevicesDotNow), targeting households who don’t have access to the internet and are digitally excluded as we face a socially distanced world gripped by COVID-19.
The Everyone Connected campaign is asking for contributions to help buy tablets and laptops, as well as connectivity in the form of sims, dongles and mobile hotspots. Funds contributed will also be used to support community partners across the UK, enabling them to help society’s most vulnerable people to use digital technology during the pandemic. The Everyone Connected campaign is working through the Online Centres Network supported by the Good Things Foundation to identify need and distribute equipment. Details of the Good Things Foundation Online Centres can be found at link.
The BBC website has information and links to some device donation schemes that are currently running across England – click here. You’ll be able to find out how to donate and what equipment is required.
Data and Labour Market Information
The Employers’ Skills and Education Board have established a Data and Labour Market Steering Group. The steering group involves all our local colleges, local authorities, the University of Chester, Jobcentre Plus, The Youth Federation, National Careers Service and other local partners who work together to develop data and labour market intelligence that will inform the development of the curriculum across Cheshire and Warrington.
The data and LMI is being used to inform the strategic priorities of the Employers’ Skills and Education Board, The Pledge, Digital Skills Partnership and our £5 million capital investments. A series of reports have been commissioned including a Digital Skills Report (July 2020).
For more information about the work of the Data and Labour Market Steering Group and to access the other reports that have been commissioned click here.
£5 Million Investment in Equipment to Support Digital Skills Adoption (Local Growth Fund Projects)
The LEP has invested £5 million in specialist equipment to support the development of digital and Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths skills. These projects are still at the early stages of development but you might want to access them in order to help you develop your skills, further details can be found here.
The project will provide 84,287 learning opportunities and benefit 3,681 businesses. Project descriptions including the technologies each project has invested in and the skills being developed can be found here.
DCMS (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
DCMS’ Digital Skills Partnership Newsletter
DCMS’ Digital Skills Partnership (DSP) is pleased to share the fifth edition of their newsletter. This edition shares This month’s edition features a spotlight section on digital inclusion, highlighting the incredible efforts of some of our partners as they work at pace to support vulnerable groups during this uncertain time. You can sign up to the newsletter here.
DCMS are keen to collaborate on future newsletters and welcome you to share your thoughts, experiences and concerns. In particular, they are interested in profiling regional case studies highlighting how technology and digital tools are empowering and supporting communities and businesses during these challenging times. Please get in touch with Poulomi at email@example.com.
For further information about the Digital Skills Partnership please email firstname.lastname@example.org