From education to employment

New data training programme aims to tackle the digital skills gap in the West Midlands

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In recent years, Birmingham and the broader West Midlands region have experienced significant economic and technological growth.

However, a pressing challenge has emerged: the digital skills gap. This gap threatens to undermine the potential of local businesses and the region’s overall economic development.

The Extent of the Digital Skills Gap in the West Midlands

According to a report by the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, a substantial proportion of businesses in Birmingham and the West Midlands are struggling to find employees with the necessary digital skills.

The report indicates that 70% of businesses in the region identify the digital skills gap as a significant barrier to growth and competitiveness. Furthermore, the UK Digital Skills Audit reveals that nearly 50% of companies in the West Midlands have digital skills shortages within their workforce.

Bridging the Gap

To tackle this growing skills gap in the region, digital and IT skills training provider, Just IT, has launched an all-new and fully funded data skills bootcamp.

The Xcelerate Data Bootcamp offers local residents over the age of 19 the opportunity to access fully funded training in data, in order to upskill and access promising local employment prospects.

Just IT have partnered with British multinational contract foodservice company, the Compass Group, to launch the programme in the West Midlands, where learners will attend three workshop days hosted at Edgbaston Stadium as part of the programme.

Key components of the programme include training in Microsoft Excel, Tableau, RStudio, SQL, Power BI, and Azure Data Fundamentals, ensuring that participants are well-equipped to excel in their chosen careers.

The programme isn’t just limited to traditional data-centric roles; rather, it equips participants with versatile skills that are highly sought-after across various industries. The programme opens doors to a variety of career pathways, empowering individuals to thrive in today’s data-driven landscape.

Upon launching the Xcelerate programme, Matthew Elson, Director of Training at Just IT said:

“The West Midlands is a critical region when it comes to digital skills, with demand for skills in data particularly on the increase. We have an established partnership with Compass Group , having been impressed by their commitment to the region, it was fitting that we utilise the hub to create excellent job prospects for the residents of the WMCA.”

Jonathan Foot, Head of Apprenticeships & Early Careers at Compass Group added:

“We are delighted to be hosting our first IT/Digital Solutions Skills Boot Camp in Partnership with Just IT at Xcelerate with Edgbaston. This data focused programme gives jobseekers from the local community who are aged 19 and above the opportunity to apply for jobs with Compass and with other local employers within the community.”

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