Progressing Businesses through Digital Skills project a huge success
More than one hundred businesses across Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly have benefitted from digital training through the Progressing Businesses through Digital Skills project in its first year. The project, part-funded by the European Social Fund, is being led by Digital Peninsula Network (DPN) and launched last April with the aim to help businesses grow their online presence and increase the digital skills of their staff.
Under the project, people working for businesses in Cornwall have joined different training sessions and workshops including Working with Excel, Website Development, Virtual Events, Online Selling, Social Media Marketing, and more. Around half of the learners completed qualifications earning them professional certificates in digital skills.
“Helping people to build their digital skills and compete in a changing marketplace is vital to Cornish businesses and the local economy.” DPN Managing Director Janus Howard said. “The Progressing Businesses through Digital Skills project has given us a timely opportunity to offer digital training and support to Cornish businesses, many of whom have had to suddenly adapt to reach customers online during the pandemic”.
Much of the training has been delivered virtually. DPN made the move to remote homeworking and fully digitalised operations in February last year to ensure the project could overcome restrictions on physical training and still be delivered. Online learning has helped businesses bridge the digital skills gap, especially those who would have previously been geographically challenged to participate in training. Trish Peacock, Council of the Isles of Scilly Skills Manager is a partner on the project and says “DPN has been able to offer digital skills training online which for our local businesses, means now being able to join in with training without having to travel to the mainland as well as networking with other businesses and picking up new skills”.
High uptake of training
DPN Project Manager, Elizabeth Trudgeon says “We’ve seen a high uptake in digital training from women in the first year. Almost 80% of learners have been women which has been fantastic to see and people from all ages and walks of life joining in right across the county”. The training is accessible to all – there are short courses running 1-day a week over a month which makes the training flexible around childcare and working schedules but also Webinars and evening classes on offer too.
The project aims to help at least 450 businesses in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly by improving the digital skills of their staff by the end of 2023. At least 82 people with no prior qualifications will receive basic skills training and 171 people will gain digital qualifications to help advance their careers. DPN is partnering with Truro & Penwith College, Council of the Isles of Scilly and Penzance Bid to make digital skill training accessible for businesses in Cornwall.
For more information about the Progressing Businesses through Digital Skills project go to www.digitalpeninsula.org/progressing-businesses or contact Elizabeth Trudgeon, Project Manager at DPN email@example.com
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Notes to editor
Digital Peninsula Network
Digital Peninsula Network (DPN) was set up in 2001 to support and grow the ICT and digital sectors in Cornwall, and support Cornwall’s wider business community with their use of ICT and digital skills. Since then it has supported numerous European Social Fund (ESF) projects whilst focusing on improvements in the local economies we work with.
European Social Fund
The Progressing Businesses through Digital Skills project has received £603,027 of funding from the European Social Fund (ESF) as part of the 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme in England. The Department for Work and Pensions is the Managing Authority for the England ESF programme. Established by the European Union ESF funds help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, skills development, job creation, social inclusion and local community regenerations. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding
David Rennie, Marketing & Business Development Manager, Digital Peninsula Network
Phone: 01736 333700