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Some examples of what the partnership has been working on.

Device Lending Scheme

With funding from the Digital Skills Partnership and others, the Digital Inclusion Team at Cornwall Council is trialling a device lending scheme to get more people online. They’re working with social prescribers and other support staff to give tablets and data to people without the means of getting online. As well as the device lending scheme, the Digital Inclusion team has a raft of resources.

If you support people who are experiencing barriers to accessing digital skills, training, kit and connectivity, you could help with some research.

9% of adults in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly have never used the internet (compared with 6% nationally). Given that online access and digital skills are increasingly important in everyday life, it’s a priority for Cornwall Council to change that statistic. And you can help.

Please help shape the programme by filling in this survey and sharing it amongst your own relevant contacts. Your responses will help more people get online.

And if you’re interested in lending devices to the people you’re working with, get in touch with the Digital Inclusion team.

Digital Skills and the Education Sector

There are two separate (but linked) issues in CIoS around digital skills:

  • Higher level skills pipeline: The tech sector is growing rapidly and there are not enough people with the right skills to fill roles. This is an immediate and growing challenge.
  • Basic digital workplace skills in IT/computing. More than 50% of today’s jobs require some technology skills, and research indicates this will increase to 77% in less than a decade. Employers in Cornwall are finding that candidates lack basic digital workplace skills.

Solving these issues requires communication between the education sector and the private sector, with consistent skills development at every level.

Education is not all about future work and it’s reductive to talk in these terms, but there is an aspect to the education system which is a ‘skills staircase’ building up to employment. If one of the stairs is removed, people can’t reach the top.


The Digital Skills Partnership will convene a group of educators that represents every step of the staircase, from Early Years to Further and Higher Education, to find out what the barriers to accessing and teaching digital skills are for their pupils and colleagues. The group will take part in a facilitated workshop with the objective of formulating some clear outcomes that they would like from industry.


The recommendations that come from the group will be presented at a subsequent DSP meeting – with a working group set up to implement those that are taken forward.

Are you from the education sector? Want to get involved?

Digital Bootcamps

In a joint bid with The Heart of the South West LEP we have secured £750,000 of funding from the Department for Education’s National Skills Fund to extend its current programme of Skills Bootcamps across the region.

Comprising flexible courses lasting up to 16 weeks’ duration, the eight additional Skills Bootcamps offer adults aged 19 or over the opportunity to build up or retrain in specific digital skills required by employers across the Heart of the South West LEP area, as well as in Dorset, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, and the West of England.

Part of the Government’s Lifetime Skills Guarantee, these Skills Bootcamps are offered free of charge to residents in Devon, Somerset, Cornwall, and Dorset. They are open to people who are unemployed, self-employed, returning to work, or to independent learners who are looking to advance their digital skills into higher paid employment in sectors that urgently require those skills.

Residents who are employed can also take advantage of the Skills Bootcamps, but their employer will need to cover 30% of the cost.

Digital Transformation Project

The Digital Transformation project has been developed by local businesses for local businesses. Delivered by The Cornwall College Group in conjunction with their strategic partner, Software Cornwall, the project will provide business support to SMEs in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, aiming to increase productivity and competitiveness.

This is Cornish businesses’ time to secure a strong, sustainable, successful economy based on digital excellence.

Here are some of the reasons why businesses need to digitally transform to ensure they don’t get left behind:

  • Ensure your business model is leading with a digital strategy
  • Guarantee you can respond to changing customer behaviours, expectations and external factors and disruptors that can influence their perception of your business.
  • Increase your productivity, efficiency and competitive advantage through automation.
  • Satisfy increasing customer demands without adding extra costs.
  • Create a more unique value proposition.
  • Retaining and building a strong customer base through a dynamic and more personalised digital customer experience.
  • Embrace collaborative tools to ensure teams can still work effectively split between remote and physical spaces while maintaining a strong company culture.
  • Meet the changing needs and expectations of your workforce.