Work and Skills Digital

New training to combat digital skills shortage as businesses adapt to impact of Covid-19

Skills for Growth logo   EU emblem and ESF logo

  • National research by Future.Now estimates that 52 per cent of the UK’s workforce lack essential digital skills for work.
  • The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated a need for technical skills as more businesses move services online.
  • Residents will benefit from bespoke training as part of Greater Manchester’s ambition to be a world leading digital city-region

Around 2,000 people in Greater Manchester will benefit from a brand-new training programme, which will inspire business growth and plug the skills gaps employers have identified following Covid-19.

Lead partner, UK Skills Academy, has been awarded a £2m contract of European Social Funding by Greater Manchester Combined Authority as part of its three-year Skills for Growth programme.

The funding will enable ‘Digital Skills Growth & Productivity’ – a two strand training programme that will support small and medium enterprises (SME’s) in the city-region to develop the technical skills they need to thrive.

Delivered between one and five days, the free training workshops will support business leaders across all sectors who need to move their services and products online, as well as employees in digital roles who need to develop practical skills such as cyber security, data analysis, information governance and digital marketing.

Councillor Andrew Western, Greater Manchester’s lead for digital, work and skills said: “In Greater Manchester, we’re committed to empowering people and developing local talent to give residents the confidence and skills they need to further their careers, while ensuring local businesses have access to the best resources.

“Skills for Growth is truly employer-led and responds directly to the gaps businesses in our priority sectors have identified.

“This is one of the first digital packages we have commissioned through the programme, which will give business leaders vital knowledge to make actionable change within their organisations so they can adapt and deliver in an evolving digital world.”

UK Skills Academy will work in partnership with five other providers across the city-region including: Growth Company, The Coders Guild, Apprentify, Manchester Digital and Back 2 Work Group.

Gemma Beech, MD at UK Skills Academy, said: “I am delighted that we have been appointed as the lead partner on this exciting digital commission.

“Our own experience and high-quality digital provision, along with our selected partners, are the right fit to respond to the needs of Greater Manchester’s digital skills shortages.

“Employers have consistently reported that they need support in developing technical skills and that demand industry-wide is expected to keep on growing.

“We have a of wealth of experience, innovative ideas and proven success in this sector and are look forward to welcoming our learners.”

Skills for Growth is a three-year European Social Funded project focusing on plugging the skills gaps in priority sectors across Greater Manchester as outlined in the combined authority’s Local Industrial Strategy.

To find out more about Digital Skills Growth & Productivity or to express an interest in one of these courses please visit:

Article Published: 02/12/2021 10:41 AM