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SELEP to launch Local Digital Skills Partnership to tackle digital skills shortage in Kent

A Government-backed scheme to drive up digital skills in the county is launching next month.

Led by the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP), the Local Digital Skills Partnership will bring together regional businesses, large employers, charities and public sector organisations to tackle the skills shortage.

Louise Aitken, skills lead for SELEP, said: “The partnership will work to build thriving and inclusive local economies, building on existing innovation and experience, most notably the virtual reality and online learning which will enable learning in spaces such as prisons and rural areas.

Programme intends to help tackle the digital skills shortage
Programme intends to help tackle the digital skills shortage

"Such tools raise the profile of local growth sectors in a new and exciting way, and remove barriers to work caused by lack of skills and geographical location.”

SELEP has already utilised some of its European Social Fund, to support projects enabling virtual reality and online learning to assist people into, and in, work.

The founding of the partnership is backed by £75,000 from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, following SELEP’s successful funding bid, developed in partnership with local SMEs.

Christian Brodie, chairman of Selep, will chair the launch event
Christian Brodie, chairman of Selep, will chair the launch event

This includes funding for a partnership co-ordinator, for one year. Once appointed, they will establish the partnership, draw up a project plan, and spend one day a month at Whitehall with counterparts from other LEPs.

The partnership, itself, will have strong links to the employer-led LEP Skills Advisory Panel and to the local industrial strategy.

SELEP, which covers Essex and East Sussex, will host the launch event at St Mary in the Castle in Hastings from 1-4pm on Wednesday, June 12.

The need for trained talent for the digital sector is seen as a key requirement for growth for the region
The need for trained talent for the digital sector is seen as a key requirement for growth for the region

Among the major firms involved will be Google, IBM, Microsoft and Intel.

The launch event will showcase the thriving digital and screen industry in Kent. It will be chaired by SELEP’s chair Christian Brodie.

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