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Our Plans and Priorities

Our mission is to connect private, public and third sector organisations to create the digital skills ecosystem that Cornwall’s future needs. The partnership harnesses the innovation in Cornwall to inspire our communities, transform educational landscapes, and create a sustainable digital economy where everyone thrives.

Creating a digital future for Cornwall: Our Strategic Priorities

The four areas that the local DSP focuses on are education, communications, digital skills and jobs, and inclusion.

We have two operational strategies:

  1. Develop and maintain a publicly available work plan based on benchmarking and mapping
  2. Develop a future sustainability plan / fundraising strategy for the DSP post 2023

And a strategic priority for each of our four focus areas:

  1. Education: Transform work experience in Cornwall and ensure every school leaver is aware of how digital can support their career
  2. Comms: Position Cornwall as a tech hub, both to the outside world and to Cornish residents
  3. Digital skills and jobs: Upskill the current and future workforce to help Cornwall become the UK’s leading tech cluster
  4. Inclusion: Create the conditions for a tech workforce that embraces the value of highly diverse teams. We’ll also work closely with Cornwall Council’s Digital Inclusion team to further their aims.

For each of these, we will develop a series of proof-of-concept ‘MVP’ project proposals for funding.

Monitoring and Evaluation

All our projects relating from the strategies should have a light touch MEL (Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning) framework. Could follow

  • Intention – implementation – impact
  • Theory of change

Link to the LEP

The activity of the Digital Skills Partnership contributes to Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly’s wider Skills plan.

The Local Skills Report, written by the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has four priorities.

Inspire: Developing the work force of tomorrow

We have bright, ambitious young people but too many are held back by a lack of aspiration, poor basic skills and a lack of awareness of the opportunities that the local economy offers. For the Digital Skills Partnership, this means linking the private sector with education providers, and looking for opportunities to fill gaps in digital skills provision. We’ll also continue to champion and develop initiatives like TECgirls and code clubs.

Transform: A productive workforce.

Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly’s economy has incredible potential but also one of the lowest levels of productivity in the country. The pandemic has put a premium on digital technology and there is a need to accelerate workforce digital skills development. Our network of Digital Skills Champions will spread the word about training opportunities, and we’ll work with partners like the Digital Peninsula Network and Unlocking Potential to make sure as many businesses as possible are accessing digital skills.

Innovate: Accelerate the growth & diversification of the economy.

Cornwall’s tech, creative, data and space industries have been identified as high growth. There is a need for a long-term perspective to help anticipate the skills that will be needed in the future as CIoS seeks to fuel innovation, productivity, technological change and competitiveness. For the DSP, this means convening strategic planning between higher and further education and leaders in this sector.

Thrive: Opportunity for all.

Deprivation means that skills are not the only barrier that some of our disadvantaged residents face. The lack of basic skills from school leavers through to those in and out of work is closing down opportunities for local people, acting as a barrier to work and progression. The DSP working closely with the Digital Inclusion team to address these issues.

The Skills Report also recognises the need for a step change in access to digital infrastructure, digital usage and digital skills across the area, supporting sectors, businesses and people to make the transition to a digital world.

The impact of Covid-19 has transformed the delivery of learning and shone a spotlight on digital skills and digital infrastructure. There is a need for a clear digital learning offer from basic digital literacy to advanced skills available to all ages. The speed of transition to new ways of working has been at pace and there are concerns that those who lack equipment, live in broadband blackspots and have inadequate skills will increasingly get left behind. At the same time we need to embrace the potential that Covid-19 has offered in terms of opportunities for homeworking and innovation in learning and delivery.