Skills Accelerator – consultation submitted & draft roadmap released

A couple of weeks ago we submitted our Summary Report to the South Yorkshire Skills Accelerator, compiled from your feedback as digital tech and media employers and partners. Our collective findings will inform the Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP) and provide a framework for developing the provision of digital skills and training for the future.

Our recommendations, along with those from other sector bodies and skills providers from across the South Yorkshire economy, have now been reviewed and the SYSA has published the draft LSIP, including a “Roadmap for Delivering Change”, which summarises what the SYSA intends to do in order to address the challenges it has uncovered.

The background to this is that South Yorkshire was selected as one of eight “Trailblazer” regions in the UK which have been granted Government funding to pilot “Skills Accelerators” to help “reshape England’s technical skills system to better support the needs of the labour market and wider economy”. As part of this, Sheffield Digital was asked to contribute to the fact-finding report, drawing on the expertise and experience of its community as digital employers, partners and service providers.

The Digital Tech and Media will play a crucial role in our region’s economic future, and Sheffield Digital’s contribution helps amplify the voices of our sector, and ensure that our collective requirements and ideas are included in the LSIP as much as possible. The Skills Accelerator aims to put business engagement at the heart of the regional skills agenda – and with South Yorkshire being one of only eight regions selected across the UK, this is an opportunity for the Sheffield community to help build the best skills system in the country.

In January we held a digital skills summit and also invited everyone to comment on the open document, which provided the basis of our report. We want to thank each and every one of you who took the time to come to the summit, share your ideas, comment on the document and offer suggestions.

The Summary Report can be read here (pdf).

The underpinning open document is also still live and we are still inviting comments if you would like to contribute. It will remain open for the next few weeks at least – the deadline for the completed LSIP to be submitted is the end of March 2022, but we hope the document can continue to act as a repository of first hand knowledge, experience and opinion from our digital tech and media employers beyond that deadline.

Key areas we identified from your submissions are:

  • Defining and Describing Professional Digital Skills
  • “Non Technical” Professional Digital Skills
  • Skills Contention
  • The Gap Between Theory and Practice
  • Mapping Provision against Demand Mindset & Modalities
  • Awareness
  • Inclusion and Aspiration Interdisciplinarity

Please do read the submission for more details on each of these areas, and the recommendations that have been made to address the challenges that exist within them.

The team at Doncaster Chamber, and their research partners at KADA Research, is now processing all the submissions from across South Yorkshire, and have just issued a draft of the final submission for our review, along with a “Roadmap for Change” summary of the key proposed actions. Please take a look at the roadmap and comment on it (email me at chris@sheffield.digital or via the Sheffield Digital Slack). Comments will be presented to SYSA at a board meeting next Thursday the 24th.

If you would like to review the entire LSIP document (all 62 pages of it), please do let me know and I will share it with you, confidentially.

Meanwhile, thank you for your continued support in helping us build Sheffield’s digital industry and engaging in the conversation with policy-makers to expand and strengthen it further!

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