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26/03/2020
Black Country launch Digital Skills Plan

The Black Country Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU) at the Black Country Consortium has launched a Digital Skills Plan that outlines the ambitions that the Black Country has in the digital economy, putting forward a skills action plan for how goals will be met.

With the current global pandemic, the development of digital skills is at the forefront of many businesses as they attempt to keep in touch with colleagues and customers, managing day to day business remotely.

The Digital Skills Plan includes priority propositions specifically tailored to the Black Country, highlighting the skills needed for the supply chain, what needs to be accomplished in the future and provides a digital skills implementation plan.

The EIU reviewed the core sectors across the Black Country and through this Plan have anticipated the changing nature of these sectors over the coming years to ensure that workers across the Black Country are informed, have access to the latest training and can make the most of the latest digital skills.

The Digital Skills Plan will also support The Black Country’s participation in the UK’s first multicity 5G test-bed, with the West Midlands region becoming the first in the UK to trial new 5G applications and services at scale. The Black Country testbed focus is Construction, the Black Country LEP are working with a range of stakeholders across the region to prepare, and deliver this testbed.

The Digital Skills Plan outlines a clear action plan against two key objectives:

  • Attracting more talent to the Black Country – supporting businesses to meet their immediate skills needs in the supply chain in relation to both ICT and digital technology skills.
  • Closing the gap – broadening the talent pool through Skills Capital development; Skills for the Future - working to ensure the education system is more responsive to the needs of employers; Upskilling, raising the profile of the ICT and digital technology sector and careers.

Professor Nazira Karodia, Chair of the Employment and Skills Board said:

“Digital literacy is a language; the more digital skills you have, the better you can speak it. The UK is in the middle of a digital skills transformation. Everyone is having to understand how to make the most of new tech opportunities for both life and work and understand how tech is impacting the ‘traditional’ view of the world.

“We see advances in digital technology as an opportunity for the Black Country to embrace the changes and grow our core sectors to ensure that we remain competitive in this global market place. The Black Country has a rich history as a producer, and we are keen for this to continue.”

Download the Digital Skills Plan here: https://www.the-blackcountry.com/economic-intelligence-unit/black-country-intelligence-reports/digital-skills-plan-2020

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