June 22, 2024

South West News

South West News from Gloucestershire to Cornwall

New skills programme helping residents to join Cornwall’s digital tech sector

Digital Futures training course
A £2 million pound training programme is being launched to support people in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly to get a foot on the ladder with specialist skills they need to thrive in one of Cornwall’s fastest growing sectors.   

Digital Futures, which is led by Truro and Penwith College and part funded by the Shared Prosperity Fund, brings together ten skills providers and a further 3 strategic partner organisations, including Cornwall Council and the Council of the Isles of Scilly.  

The programme will provide a shared space for all things digital and focus on providing opportunities for local people who are currently underrepresented in the tech sector, whilst tackling the challenges of a growing industry. 

Cabinet Member for the Economy, Cllr Louis Gardner said:

“Research has shown Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has the fastest growing tech sector in the Southwest, with over 1,500 digital organisations employing over 5,000 people.  

“This is creating an increasing demand for digital skills, which currently cannot be met locally. 

“This programme will support individuals and businesses to develop the skills they need to grow and innovate, which will position Cornwall as a great choice for talent and industry.”  

Councillor Barbara Ellenbroek, Cabinet Member for Children and Families, with responsibility for skills added:

“Our message to any individuals not currently working, or employed in other sectors, is to think about the opportunities this kind of training can bring.  

“Digital technologies can also help us to tackle inequalities, connect communities, and offer solutions to global challenges such as climate change. And, through delivering exciting training programmes and well-paid jobs locally, our vibrant, growing tech sector can raise aspirations and create opportunities. It’s about opportunities for local job seekers to learn new skills, enhance existing knowledge, work flexibly, and earn a great wage, all without leaving our beautiful Duchy.” 

Jenny Gramnes, Contract Manager for Digital Futures at Truro and Penwith College says 

“We are delighted to be leading this dynamic collaboration offering a multi-faceted approach to addressing the local digital skills gap, supporting economic growth, and creating opportunities for individuals and organisations in Cornwall and Isles of Scilly. 

“We are launching the project at The Big Cornish Tech Showcase on 20 February at Spaceport Cornwall and look forward to letting people know more Digital Futures then.” 

As well as Truro & Penwith College, the consortium also includes Falmouth University, the University of Exeter, Step into Learning, Real Ideas, Software Cornwall, TEC Women CIC, Digital Peninsula Network, Cornwall Marine Network, Headforwards, and Cornwall Council. Celtic Sea Power, the Council of the Isle of Scilly, and The Cornwall College Group will provide strategic support. 

Digital Futures has received £2 million from the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. 

Working with employers to understand current and future needs, the programme aims to:  

  • empower the workforce, 
  • co-develop blended learning opportunities to create a sustainable pool of skilled professionals 
  • encourage new talent via an outreach programme.  

Toby Parkins, Director of Headforwards Solutions Ltd, said:

“We are thrilled to be a partner in the Digital Futures project. The project offers an exciting opportunity to equip individuals with the skills to support digital transformation across all sectors in Cornwall and IOS. The project will also directly support the growth of the tech sector which has huge potential for the creation of well paid, sustainable and high-quality employment.” 

Digital Futures

Story posted 12 February 2024