Black Country launch Digital Skills Plan •

26 Mar 2020

Published in: Member News

Black Country launch Digital Skills Plan •

Black Country launch Digital Skills Plan •

The Digital Skills Plan outlines the ambitions that the Black Country has in the digital economy.

• The Plan highlights priorities for the Black Country including a clear skills action plan.

• Produced by the Black Country Economic Intelligence Unit the plan is available to download here: The Black Country

Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU) at the Black Country Consortium has launched a Digital Skills Plan that outlines the ambitions that the Black Country has in the digital economy, putting forward a skills action plan for how goals will be met. With the current global pandemic, the development of digital skills is at the forefront of many businesses as they attempt to keep in touch with colleagues and customers, managing day to day business remotely.

The Digital Skills Plan includes priority propositions specifically tailored to the Black Country, highlighting the skills needed for the supply chain, what needs to be accomplished in the future and provides a digital skills implementation plan.

The EIU reviewed the core sectors across the Black Country and through this Plan have anticipated the changing nature of these sectors over the coming years to ensure that workers across the Black Country are informed, have access to the latest training and can make the most of the latest digital skills.

The Digital Skills Plan will also support The Black Country’s participation in the UK’s first multicity 5G test-bed, with the West Midlands region becoming the first in the UK to trial new 5G applications and services at scale. The Black Country testbed focus is Construction, the Black Country LEP are working with a range of stakeholders across the region to prepare, and deliver this testbed.

The Digital Skills Plan outlines a clear action plan against two key objectives:

• Attracting more talent to the Black Country – supporting businesses to meet their immediate skills needs in the supply chain in relation to both ICT and digital technology skills.

• Closing the gap – broadening the talent pool through Skills Capital development; Skills for the Future - working to ensure the education system is more responsive to the needs of employers; Upskilling, raising the profile of the ICT and digital technology sector and careers.

Professor Nazira Karodia, Chair of the Employment and Skills Board said: “Digital literacy is a language; the more digital skills you have, the better you can speak it. The UK is in the middle of a digital skills transformation.

"Everyone is having to understand how to make the most of new tech opportunities for both life and work and understand how tech is impacting the ‘traditional’ view of the world.

“We see advances in digital technology as an opportunity for the Black Country to embrace the changes and grow our core sectors to ensure that we remain competitive in this global market place. The Black Country has a rich history as a producer, and we are keen for this to continue.”

Download the Digital Skills Plan here:


For further information contact Helen Annetts, PR on Behalf of the Black Country Consortium on 07779026720 or email:

Notes to Editors

About the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP)

1. The Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) aligns activity across private and public sectors to create the right environment for businesses with a remit to tackle barriers to business growth and create a globally competitive local economy.

2. Programmes to deliver our vision are structured around three areas of activity: • Business: supporting skills and competitiveness • People: raising skills and employability, for example through our City Deal and Skills Factory; • Place: including the provision of more high-quality employment land through our Enterprise Zone and City Deal.

3. The LEP Board has identified seven priority areas where action will have the most impact on the Black Country and its contribution to the national economy: • Exploiting the potential of the Black Country as a place to live, do business and invest; focusing on our housing offer, the quality of employment land, and the distinctive role of our four strategic centres. • Using supply chains to build business commitment to skills and growth • Supporting innovation at our major science and business parks • Building a close relationship with our top 600 companies • Raising our skills levels • Securing inward investment • Developing a more entrepreneurial culture

4. The Black Country located at the heart of the national transport network, comprises the metropolitan boroughs of Dudley, Sandwell and Walsall and the City of Wolverhampton. It covers 356 sq kilometres, is home to 1.18 million people, with 23 per cent ethnic minority residents and 463,000 jobs in 37,490 companies. For more information on the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership visit or follow on Twitter: @blackcountrylep

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