UK Launches Local Digital Skills Partnership Campaign

A new drive to improve the digital skills of thousands of people across the Humber is being launched today following match-funding from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). It comes as new figures reveal Hull and East Yorkshire’s tech sector is one of the fastest growing in the UK.

Tech Minister Chris Philp is in Hull today to formally launch a new Local Digital Skills Partnership, a new campaign aiming to equip people for the region’s digital jobs boom and ensure more residents can benefit from the thriving local tech sector.

New data from smarter job search engine Adzuna and Dealroom published today reveals the number of employees in Hull and East Yorkshire’s digital sector is expanding at eight per cent per year, making it the fastest growing region in the UK for digital jobs. 

It follows a report published by DCMS which showed the region’s digital sector is expected to add an extra £1.6 billion to the economy every year by 2025 creating an additional 42,200 jobs. 

The partnership - a coalition of local authorities, businesses and education providers - will make it easier for businesses and residents to identify gaps in their skills and access training on a range of topics from software development and data management to digital marketing.

It comes as the government continues its mission to level up communities and revolutionise public services with faster internet speeds, with the completion of a project to connect a raft of primary schools in East Riding with high speed and ultra-reliable gigabit broadband.

Since 2018 DCMS has successfully run partnerships in seven other locations, including Lancashire, Chesire and Warrington and the West Midlands. Being part of the partnership means local councils can benefit from monthly networking events and sessions with industry, learning from leading skills programmes like Google Digital Garage and the Lloyds Bank Academy.

These initiatives have brought benefits including improved career opportunities for local people - including from groups typically underrepresented in the digital workforce - and a better understanding for businesses of the training provision available up and down the country. 

Today’s launch comes as government-backed work, in partnership with East Riding of Yorkshire Council to connect 37 primary schools in East Riding is completed. This roll out will transform online learning opportunities for pupils and stimulate commercial investment in full fibre networks in the area. The 37 primary school connections were funded via £847,000 investment from two government schemes: Local Full Fibre Networks (£508,000) and Rural Gigabit Connectivity (£339,000).

The gigabit broadband rollout in East Riding builds on Hull and East Yorkshire’s high level of broadband coverage, with Hull benefitting from the best full-fibre broadband coverage out of all UK cities to support a thriving tech startup scene.   Hull is home to more than 60 tech startups, including challenger broadband provider Connexin, which recently raised £80 million in investment, and product lifecycle management software Bombyx PLM.