The College hosted Nottingham's first Digital Skills Summit last week (27th February). The event, which was held in the College’s Adams Restaurant & Brasserie, was attended by more than 50 delegates from local digital businesses, including Boots, Experian and UniDays, the University of Nottingham, Nottingham Trent University, and Nottingham City Council.
The event was staffed by students and opened by James Whybrow (Vice-Principal - Partnerships, Apprenticeships & Enterprise) alongside Councillor Leslie Ayoola (Executive Assistant for Business & Employment at Nottingham City Council).
The aim of the summit was to bring together key business and education leaders to address the growing shortage of digital skills across the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership’s eight priority sectors, to improve Nottingham residents’ access to basic and higher level IT skills and to involve creative and digital businesses in making Nottingham a beacon for digital talent across the Midlands.
The summit saw the launch of the Nottingham Tech 1000 strategy, a joint venture between Nottingham City Council and industry and academic partners in the city. The strategy is a key part of action being taken to increase digital skills attainment in Nottingham. It aims to deliver an additional 1000 digital outputs by 2020; these will include providing local people with apprenticeships, work experience placements, graduate internships, and increasing the number of computing graduates choosing to stay in Nottingham after graduation.
The strategy also aims to increase digital skills attainment in Nottingham by 35% in high-growth digital sectors, contributing even more to Nottingham’s growing reputation as a thriving digitally-enabled economy and providing more jobs and prosperity for local people.
The event, which aimed to energise and engage local businesses to get behind the ambition of the Tech 1000 partners is a direct response to local and national calls for more digital skills investment and concerns from businesses in Nottingham that the lack of a suitably digitally-skilled workforce is having an impact on their productivity and competitiveness both locally and in the global market.
By joining together and reaching out to businesses in the city, Nottingham City Council, in partnership with Nottingham College, aim to:
- Raise the visibility of digital career pathways and current vacancies
- Increase the uptake of accredited digital training at all levels
- Retain graduates with digital skills within the local economy
- Position Nottingham as an attractive place for alumni returners
- Establish Nottingham as a regional hub for digital talent
James Whybrow, Nottingham College Vice-Principal - Partnerships, Apprenticeships and Enterprise, said: “Ensuring we give our students the opportunity to engage proactively with employers is part of our underlying vision as a college and this event is a step towards that vision.
“We want to make sure that we help students make the most of their life chances in everything that they do. We do this through our commitment to giving young people in Nottingham a strong educational base but by also working closely with employers we can help our students to get jobs and positively contribute to the economy of Nottingham.
“By understanding the needs of employers in the digital skills sector and other industries and by bridging the gaps between schools, post 16 education, universities and employers we can collectively meet the needs of our partners Nottingham City Council, the needs of the economy and provide businesses with the talent they need for the future.”