Lancashire secures £261,000 digital skills funding

Lancashire has secured £261,000 of investment from the government's Digital Skills Innovation Fund, one of just four regions to do so.

The funding has been made available by the department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and will be used to help under-represented members of the community to improve their digital skills and boost their employment prospects.

The programme will include digital skills bootcamps, workshops and courses, as well as help to find existing training programmes.

Projects set to launch in Lancashire include an IT Infrastructure training project which will help disadvantaged residents into digital jobs and a digital marketing course for the unemployed and under-represented social groups which will lead to accredited qualifications sought by local employers.

The DSIF grant was awarded in acknowledgement of the county's commitment to delivering economic growth and creating jobs through the promotion and delivery of more digital skills and training.

Last April it was the first area in the UK to announce the formation of a Local Digital Skills Partnership, a pioneering Government scheme which helps to identify gaps in digital skills provision and encourages partners from both the private and public sectors to work together to address them.

This funding will give Lancashire’s rapidly growing digital skills programme a massive boost.

Kerry Harrison, Lancashire’s digital skills partnership coordinator, said: "This funding will give Lancashire’s rapidly growing digital skills programme a massive boost and it will help us embed more training and support into communities who may otherwise struggle to access such provision.

"This will be achieved through a range of tailored, innovative and targeted interventions which will be specific to the audiences we are trying to help."

Minister for digital Margot James added: "The Lancashire Local Enterprise Partnerships presented an innovative new training programme which will help underrepresented groups into the digital workforce and they should be proud winners of the Digital Skills Innovation Fund.

"Having a workforce that is representative of society is not only the right thing to do but also makes business sense. This funding will help the people of Lancashire achieve their potential as tomorrow’s data analysts, programmers, cyber security specialists and software developers."