Digital skills role outlined for local government
Local government needs to take a role in improving digital skills, according to a government report.
Research firm Ecorys UK was commissioned to produce a research paper by the Departments for Culture Media and Sport, and Business Innovation and Skills, aimed at understanding demand for and supply of digital skills in the UK economy.
It recommended that local and regional government and agencies should address the digital skills needs of their local areas.
It said: “Local partnerships and networks - local enterprise partnerships, councils, FE colleges, universities and employers - should work together to determine the skills needs for their local area, so that education and training provision is better matched to local demand.
“Government must encourage these partnerships to share best practice and knowledge of successful programmes and training schemes.”
In addition, it said that local agencies should provide relevant and focused information about digital skills training and education in their areas.
A survey carried out as part of the study found that 9% of respondents felt that local government was responsible for providing education on digital services, with 13% saying central government should be responsible and 16% saying it was up to individuals themselves.
Doniya Soni, programme manager, skills and talent development at digital industry body TechUK, welcomed the report.
She said: “TechUK believes an important next step should be a dynamic map of the digital skills pipeline, which should be created to better understand the cumulative impact of recent education reforms and wider ‘informal education’ on meeting the overall digital skills challenge facing the UK.
“Government and wider players can then use those insights to demonstrate where more may still need to be done, including where a ‘smart migration’ approach is necessary to address the most pronounced shortages.”
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