Digital Skills Partnership For The South East Launches Wednesday 12 June in Hastings

The South East Local Enterprise Partnership is delighted to invite businesses to the launch of its local Digital Skills Partnership on Wednesday 12 June at St Mary in the Castle, Hastings from 1-4pm.

This new initiative, the Digital Skills Partnership (DSP) will bring together businesses from all sectors, public sector organisations and the charitable sector to focus on how best to ensure the need for these vital skills is met across the South East.

As one of three new pilot areas working with the government, a launch event in Hastings which will inform businesses about what steps are being taken to meet digital skills shortages, as well as dictate the future direction of the program as well as the local area.

Businesses need people with the skills to thrive in the modern digital age. The New South East Local Digital Skills Partnership will help people get the skills that businesses need.

Minister for Digital
Publication Date
Wednesday 12 June
1pm - 4pm
Free to attend

The South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) will coordinate the DSP and act as a link between the Government’s Department of Digital, Culture, Media & Sport and corporate partners including the likes of Google, IBM and local digital SMEs to help support residents and businesses across the area.

The SELEP Skills Strategy identified that there is a growing need for digital skills. Business growth is being held back with vacancy numbers remaining high and many companies are struggling to recruit and retain digitally-focused staff.

In the last calendar year, it was reported there were more than 35,000 digital vacancies, including web and software developers, programmers and coders across the SELEP area, which includes East Sussex.

Across 195,000 enterprises in the SELEP area, the need to enhance access to digital skills included businesses ranging from agriculture, construction, education, IT, digital and creative, manufacturing and engineering sectors to transport, logistics and warehousing.


As a part of this pilot, SEDSP has identified several exciting vanguard projects to be developed, including:

  • Skills Portal

Local jobs, careers and training information for individuals and businesses

  • Returnship’ Programme

Up-skill or retrain to enter the digital sector

  • Digital Outreach Programme

Secondary schools to run tech jams, support code clubs and provide work experience opportunities to students

  • Digital Academy

Focusing on developing skills for business

  • Virtual Centre for Tech

  • Women in Tech

Announcing the South East DSP, Minister for Digital, Margot James said: “Businesses need people with the skills to thrive in the modern digital age. The New South East Local Digital Skills Partnership will help people get the skills that businesses need.

“This government’s modern industrial strategy is devoted to making sure everyone can enjoy the benefits of our thriving digital economy and help build a Britain fit for the future.”

Christian Brodie, Chair of SELEP, added: “We made a compelling case for a South East DSP and we are delighted it has been recognised by the Government.

“In order to improve our economic productivity, we urgently need to improve digital skills in our communities, by training, upskilling and reaching out to educators. This will help inform young people and adults of potential career routes, help those looking to return to the workplace and also support those who are currently disengaged from digital skills.”

“By engaging with tech businesses across our area and civil servants we are confident we will be able to influence national policy and help our Skills Advisory Pane currently being set up to help develop and bring forward initiatives to address local digital skills needs.”

The South East DSP will feed into SELEP’s Local Industrial Strategy and its objectives are integral to its recently published Economic Strategy Statement: Smarter, Faster, Together.

The event

Starting at 1pm, the event will be chaired by SELEP’s Chair Christian Brodie. Guests will be able to enjoy a light lunch and hear from leading industry experts and government, with a panel discussion as well as networking opportunities. 

Presentations will showcase local work such as Plumpton College virtual reality and online learning, East Sussex College Group pilot work for the digital T-level and Seaview’s project on digital inclusion for homeless people, commissioned by NHS Digital.

To book your place, go onto their Eventbrite.

For support and advice on how to progress with your business goals get in touch and one of our team will contact you to discuss you needs.