Future Skills Partnership launched to enhance digital skills in North East

March 1, 2021

The North East’s biggest educational establishments have joined forces with some of Scotland’s leading digital training providers in an effort to boost the region’s digital capabilities.

The Future Skills Partnership, which is being spearheaded by Opportunity North East (ONE), will help the region keep pace with the country’s other major cities in digital maturity and adoption.

North East Scotland College, Robert Gordon University and the University of Aberdeen have partnered with Code Clan, The Data Lab and Skills Development Scotland to launch a web portal providing individuals looking to further their digital education with a single source for information and advice on all the courses available.

Neil Cowie, Principal of  NESCol, said: “Collaboration will be essential to the social and economic  recovery of the region and NESCol is committed to playing a central role in valuable partnership work.

“The Future Skills Partnership supports the College’s digital ambitions and we see exciting opportunities in the sector, catering for demand for a constantly evolving range of courses in the digital sphere. We look forward to working together with partners to ensure the region has a workforce equipped to meet the needs of industry.”

Jared Owen, Director, Digital and Entrepreneurship at ONE, said: “The purpose of the Future Skills Partnership is to is to provide access to the latest in digital learning and education to people across the region who we know will benefit from expanding their digital skillset.

“ONE and its partners have a clear ambition to accelerate economic diversification and support sustainable economic growth. Driving digital adoption and maturity is a key part of this and the web portal is a great way of helping everyone – people and organisations – across our key sectors access the resources to do this.

“The region has led the way in terms of energy for many decades, and the pace of digital transformation within that sector in particular is accelerating. This presents us with a tremendous opportunity to enhance the existing skills base in the region to support the energy transition, as well as other industries as they embrace the digital future.”

Allison Carrington, Skills Planning Lead (North East) at Skills Development Scotland, added: “We have seen other areas of the country welcome digital with open arms, and while there are some companies in the region doing their bit, it is vital people and businesses don’t get left behind. There is a proud history of innovation in the area, and that is something we are looking to harness with a new generation.

“The range of courses on offer across a variety of industries underlines the fact there is a wealth of opportunities in digital, as highlighted by our successful Digital World website and our national ‘digital human’ campaign, which are available to everyone from those in their final years at school, to people  pondering a career change or those with skills and experience they wish to update and apply in a new setting.”

While people receive first-class training from providers in the public and private sector, the Future Skills Partnership believes more needs to be done to keep those skills in the region and have found there is a growing demand for upskilling the workforce from individuals and industry.

Jared Owen added: “The North East of Scotland has consistently been one of the most productive parts of the UK and we firmly believe increasing the digital capabilities of people in the region will help retain the top talent required for sustainable, high value jobs.

“We want people to get with the programme and develop skills that will not only improve their own skillset, but potentially bring new investment to the North East. People know they need to either build on the skills they already have or develop new ones but are unsure where and how to do this. The Future Skills Partnership can provide them with everything they need to be competitive in today’s fast-moving digital world.”

The collaboration has brought together further education and strategic training establishments to help organisations and individuals scale up in terms of their abilities. The web portal covers all types of courses available, from those suitable to school leavers, to someone looking to complete a master’s and can be found at www.futureskillspartnership.com .