• £37,500 invested to keep digital skills growing across the Humber region
  • Boost comes as Hull and East Yorkshire named UK’s fastest growing region for digital jobs
  • 37 local primary schools get lightning-fast broadband for next generation of online learning

A new drive to improve the digital skills of thousands of people across the Humber is being launched today following match-funding from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). It comes as new figures reveal Hull and East Yorkshire’s tech sector is one of the fastest growing in the UK.

Tech Minister Chris Philp is in Hull today to formally launch a new Local Digital Skills Partnership, a new campaign aiming to equip people for the region’s digital jobs boom and ensure more residents can benefit from the thriving local tech sector.

New data from smarter job search engine Adzuna and Dealroom published today reveals the number of employees in Hull and East Yorkshire’s digital sector is expanding at eight per cent per year, making it the fastest growing region in the UK for digital jobs. 

It follows a report published by DCMS which showed the region’s digital sector is expected to add an extra £1.6 billion to the economy every year by 2025 creating an additional 42,200 jobs. 

The partnership – a coalition of local authorities, businesses and education providers – will make it easier for businesses and residents to identify gaps in their skills and access training on a range of topics from software development and data management to digital marketing.

It comes as the government continues its mission to level up communities and revolutionise public services with faster internet speeds, with the completion of a project to connect a raft of primary schools in East Riding with high speed and ultra-reliable gigabit broadband.

Digital Minister Chris Philp said: 

Yorkshire and the Humber has massive potential to be a leading UK tech destination which will put rocket boosters on the region’s economy and help unlock new innovations that improve people’s lives.
But we must make sure people have the skills and talents needed for these jobs of the future. Our Local Digital Skills Partnership will give residents and businesses the chance to be part of the digital revolution happening on their doorstep.

Following a successful independent pilot, the Humber Local Digital Skills Partnership has been match-funded by DCMS to continue its important work in the community.  

Hull City Council Leader Daren Hale said:

The Humber region has led the way in boosting digital skills and creating opportunities in the digital sector, so I’m pleased that the government has recognised the success of the Humber Local Digital Skills Partnership pilot. The council has continued to support the LDSP, sitting on its steering group to offer support and expertise to help shape the digital future of the city. The partnership has proven to be very valuable to the council and the local economy.

Since 2018 DCMS has successfully run partnerships in seven other locations, including Lancashire, Chesire and Warrington and the West Midlands. Being part of the partnership means local councils can benefit from monthly networking events and sessions with industry, learning from leading skills programmes like Google Digital Garage and the Lloyds Bank Academy.

These initiatives have brought benefits including improved career opportunities for local people – including from groups typically underrepresented in the digital workforce – and a better understanding for businesses of the training provision available up and down the country. 

Charlotte Collyer, South West LEP Digital Skills Partnership Manager, said:

The Heart of the South West LEP Digital Skills Partnership has been connecting people and businesses with high-quality, fully-funded digital skills initiatives for 3 years across Devon, Somerset, Plymouth, and Torbay. 

The strategic input from DCMS Digital Skills Partnership Policy Lead and connections made through the DSP network has enabled us to leverage a significant additional investment for digital skills activity for our region and we welcome the opportunity to work with East Yorkshire and Humber DSP to share our knowledge and build best practice.

Today’s launch comes as government-backed work, in partnership with East Riding of Yorkshire Council to connect 37 primary schools in East Riding is completed. This roll out will transform online learning opportunities for pupils and stimulate commercial investment in full fibre networks in the area.

Councillor Jonathan Owen, leader of East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said:

The successful delivery of these two full-fibre broadband programmes will be a boost to our more rural schools, making a welcome difference for both pupils and staff as they continue their learning.   

We want to continue to provide the best, cutting-edge technological capabilities to our region, and this is an essential example of this forward thinking.

The gigabit broadband rollout in East Riding builds on Hull and East Yorkshire’s high level of broadband coverage, with Hull benefitting from the best full-fibre broadband coverage out of all UK cities to support a thriving tech startup scene.
 
Hull is home to more than 60 tech startups, including challenger broadband provider Connexin, which recently raised £80 million in investment, and product lifecycle management software Bombyx PLM. 

Lucy Blackley, founder and director of Bombyx PLM, said: 

Bombyx PLM had a brilliant 2021 – we’ve grown 300% over the past 12 months, added new clients in the UK and our team has increased to 10 people. 

I couldn’t imagine growing my business in any other city – the welcoming atmosphere at C4DI and the support network of other entrepreneurs in Hull have been integral in helping us achieve these fantastic results. I look forward to seeing what 2022 has in store for Bombyx PLM.
 
Minister Philp will also visit Hull’s Centre 4 Digital Innovation, a tech accelerator which helps new companies to scale and build connections within the local digital community. 

ENDS 

Notes to Editor: 
The Humber Local Digital Skills Partnership has been granted £37,500 in match-funding from DCMS. 
*An independent evaluation conducted by Amion Consulting assessed the impact made by six regions operating Local Digital Skills Partnerships in September 2021. The full report can be found here. 

The 37 primary school connections were funded via £847,000 investment from two government schemes: Local Full Fibre Networks (£508,000) and Rural Gigabit Connectivity (£339,000).


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    Skills and connectivity boost for East Yorkshire and the Humber as region is named UK’s fastest growing region for digital jobs

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