This partnership aims to improve digital skills for people and organisations. Find out more about its work and how your organisation can get involved.
The Digital Skills Partnership (DSP) brings together public, private and charity sector organisations to help increase the digital capability of individuals and organisations in England. It’s work extends from a commitment within the UK Digital Strategy which sets out government’s ambition to create a world-leading digital economy that works for everyone.
The aim of the DSP is ambitious: to improve digital capability across the whole skills spectrum - from the essential skills that help reduce digital exclusion, to the skills workers need in an increasingly digital economy, and through to the advanced skills required for specialist roles.
To meet these challenges, the DSP set up cross-sector Groups to tackle 3 priorities:
- Support the development of Local Digital Skills Partnerships in English regions to bring together cross-sector partners to design, develop, and coordinate the delivery of innovative digital skills programmes, tackle digital exclusion, share best practice, and raise awareness of digital skills regionally.
- Increase digital enterprise by helping small businesses and charities upskill their employees and increase their digital capabilities so they can take advantage of the productivity gains that technology provides.
- Support computing in schools by convening industry and other partners to ensure that teachers have the knowledge and skills to teach the new world-leading computing curriculum effectively.
Local Digital Skills Partnerships
The government is working with Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and Combined Authorities (CAs) to help establish Local Digital Skills Partnerships (Local DSPs) across the country to tackle local digital skills challenges and build thriving and inclusive local economies.
The 6 Local DSP Trailblazers
In 2018, 3 Local DSPs were set up in Lancashire, Heart of the South West and the West Midlands. DCMS invited all other Local Enterprise Partnerships and Mayoral Combined Authorities to submit Expressions of Interest to form a Local DSP pilot. A further 3 regions were selected and Local DSPs were launched in Cornwall and Isles of Scilly, Cheshire and Warrington and the South East over the Summer of 2019.
Local DSP Regional Coordinators
These 6 Local Digital Skills Partnership trailblazers have been allocated funding to employ a Regional Coordinator to facilitate the delivery of digital skills training opportunities in their respective Local DSPs. By working collaboratively with both regional and national stakeholders, they will be developing new innovative models to improve digital skills across their regions, boost their local economies and share this best practice with other LEPs and CAs.
The Local DSP Guide
Government welcomes the strong interest Local Digital Skills Partnerships have received from regions across the country. In response to this, over the Summer of 2019 we will be developing a Digital Skills Partnership Guide to provide step by step advice on how to start the process of developing the partnership in your area. The Guide will feature 5 key steps:
- Convening the partnership
- Developing the Local DSP strategy and action plan
- Coordinating the delivery of local digital skills provision
- Evaluating success
- Sharing best practice
We have published a blog post providing further information for LEPs/CAs with an interest in forming Local DSPs. We will post an introduction and the first step of the Guide here to gain initial user feedback from LEPs and CAs.
Find out more about how you can join your Local DSP network by contacting:
The Local Digital Skills Partnership Regional Coordinators
- Lancashire Local Digital Skills Partnership: Kerry Harrison firstname.lastname@example.org
- Heart of the South West Local Digital Skills Partnership: Charlotte Collyer email@example.com
- West Midlands Local Digital Skills Partnership: Marika Beckford firstname.lastname@example.org
- Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Local Digital Skills Partnership: Ben Bolton email@example.com
- Cheshire & Warrington Local Digital Skills Partnership: Sarah Williams firstname.lastname@example.org
- South East Local Digital Skills Partnership: Jim Wilkinson email@example.com
The Digital Skills Partnership Team
Digital Skills Innovation Fund
Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and Combined Authorities (CAs) were invited to bid for grants as part of a new £1 million Digital Skills Innovation Fund for initiatives which specifically aim to help people take up digital roles. Funds were awarded to:
- West of England Combined Authority (WECA) to help women, particularly women living in deprived neighbourhoods, to acquire skills for digital roles.
- Lancashire LEP to help residents of disadvantaged wards in Lancashire who are unemployed or inactive to develop digital marketing skills.
- Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire (D2N2) LEP and Sheffield City Region (joint bid), with strategic support from Leicester and Leicestershire LEP and Greater Lincolnshire LEP, for a pilot focused on helping women and autistic people to gain demand-led digital skills and enter employment within digital roles.
- Heart of the South West LEP for the ‘Digital Momentum’ pilot helping women working in small businesses who would benefit from digital up-skilling, women already in work who want to retrain and access a new digital career, and those looking to re-engage with the labour market. The programme will focus on the 20% most deprived wards in the region.
Programmes will run until the Spring/Summer of 2020.
Find out more about the work of the DSP
- Sign up to the Digital Skills Partnership newsletter and read the latest release (November 2019)
- Read the Digital Skills Partnership blogs on the partnership’s work and how organisations from all sectors can support it.
- DSP board membership and its terms of reference
- Nurturing young talent: TeenTech expands across the UK 29 October 2019
- DCMS provides funding to the Weldmar Hospicecare through the Digital Inclusion Fund 17 October 2019
- Introducing the new Regional Coordinator for Cheshire & Warrington DSP 30 September 2019
- Introducing the new Regional Coordinator for the South East DSP 17 September 2019
- Digital skills and diversity at South Bank Engineering UTC 13 September 2019
- DCMS provides funding to the Down’s Syndrome Association to develop a health app 6 September 2019
- More regions to launch Digital Skills Partnerships 15 March 2019
- Smart homes to help older and disabled people get digital skills and tackle loneliness in rural areas 6 January 2019