Plan unveiled to make region a ‘digital giant’

The Mayor of West Yorkshire has launched a plan to improve digital skills and help grow the region’s digital sector.

Tracy Brabin’s first Digital Skills Plan is designed to ensure everyone in West Yorkshire can develop the digital skills they need to get the career or life skills they want.

It is supported by officials from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

The plan will promote digital careers, linking education and business, so young people in West Yorkshire are ready for the jobs of the future.

It will also inspire businesses and charities to invest in digital skills to transform their workforce.

Brabin said: “Equipping people with the digital skills they need to succeed is a key priority because everybody should have the same chances to get on and live a happy life.

“West Yorkshire’s digital sector is already punching above its weight and we will continue to build on this by supporting businesses to grow and to innovate.

“You can’t level up communities like ours without digital skills, and our plan sets the path for the future.”  

Mark Roberts, chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership, said: “West Yorkshire has the fastest growing digital sector outside of London and is the UK’s number one location for tech scale-ups. 

“Investment in digital skills will further boost our region’s economy, accelerate business growth and create jobs and opportunities for everyone in our region.”

Councillor James Lewis, chair of the employment and skills committee, said: “Our long-term prosperity depends on having people with the right skills to get back into work and be ready for new opportunities.

“West Yorkshire has the fastest growing digital sector, outstripping the national pace of growth, which makes the development of digital skills a key focus to support these jobs and businesses.” 

Paul Scully, Minister for Tech and the Digital Economy, said: “Tech is thriving in West Yorkshire and we want to make sure everyone can enjoy the benefits of a strong digital sector.

“Our Local Digital Skills Partnerships are helping people across the region access the training and support they need to join in Yorkshire’s tech revolution, whether that’s getting online or growing their business.”

Mandy Ridyard, finance director of Produmax and chair of Space Hub Yorkshire, added: “Investing in digital skills for current and future talent is crucial to business success.

“Digital skills are a catalyst for businesses growth. They help increase productivity, create new ways of working and ensure businesses are future fit.”