LEP wins digital skills funding

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The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has successfully bid for Government funding to set up a pilot Local Digital Skills Partnership (Local DSP) for the area.

It is one of only three LEPs across the country to have been approved for the second wave of funding received from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport with support from the Digital Skills Partnership, aimed at increasing digital capability.

The LEP is recruiting a digital skills coordinator to lead the Local DSP and work with Government to help other areas develop their own partnerships.

Local DSPs boost digital skills in targeted and innovative ways, by bringing together public, private and charity sector organisations.

Minister for Digital, Margot James, said: “The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Digital Skills Partnership will help employers recruit a workforce with the skills they need to grow their businesses and boost the region’s economy. As part of the government’s modern Industrial Strategy we are committed to making sure everyone can enjoy the benefits of our thriving digital economy and help build a Britain fit for the future.”

Clare Harris, senior skills officer for the LEP, said: “We are delighted to have secured £75k of Digital Skills Partnership funding. As one of the best-connected regional economies in Europe with a thriving tech sector, it is important that people have the skills and confidence to take full advantage of our distinctive digital assets.

“This project can make a tangible difference to residents, organisations and the economy of our area, helping to access and embrace the digital world and the opportunities that it brings.

“By investing in the region, working with Government and our partners, we can radically increase our contribution to the UK economy, while pioneering new systems, technologies and skilled ways of working.”

The LEP is business-led and its role is to drive economic growth and job creation across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. It does this by helping to create the conditions in which people and businesses can prosper.

The vision for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly is for residents and organisations to understand the benefits of the digital world, feel safe and confident online and supported to develop their skills and thrive in an increasingly digital economy.

The LEP was praised for presenting a strong and compelling case for receiving support, including developing a strong digital skills and inclusion strategy.

Around 71,000 (13%) of residents in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly have never used the internet, according to recent data from the Office of National Statistics. It is hoped to reduce this figure by 25%.

The Government announced its ambition to form local DSPs across the country in the 2017 UK Digital Strategy, and its Industrial Strategy.