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New skills programme to get more women into digital careers

 

A new skills programme to help and support women to find jobs in digital roles has been announced.

 

The West of England Combined Authority has secured £238,000 funding from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) for the new Women into Digital Jobs, Education and Training (WIDJET) programme.
 
Bath College; digital training businesses Mayden Academy and Boomsatsuma; Knowle West Media Centre and the Dot Project will all be involved in delivering activities and training starting almost immediately and running until the summer of 2019.
 
WIDJET will work with women across the region, providing digital skills and training from entry-level taster sessions through to high-level industry specified courses. Participants can take part in a range of skills courses, training or seminars designed directly with business needs in mind, with the aim of them securing jobs in digital roles.
 
Minister for Digital, Margot James said: “I am thrilled to announce that the West of England Combined Authority was one of our Digital Skills Innovation Fund winners. Its fantastic work with Bath College, Mayden Academy, Boomsatsuma, Knowle West Media Centre and the Dot Project will change lives.
 
“Women are underrepresented in tech roles and this funding aims to help develop a more gender diverse workforce because it is not only the right thing to do but also makes business sense.”
 
West of England Mayor, Tim Bowles, said: “This is fantastic news and supports one of my key ambitions of improving job opportunities across the region. I want to ensure that everyone, regardless of background or personal circumstances, can access support to develop workplace skills so that they can fulfil their potential. Digital and tech is an important part of the West of England’s economy, and businesses have a particular need for skilled employees now, and this demand is expected to grow in future.
 
“Women are currently under-represented in digital roles and this new project will seek to tackle this by engaging with a wide group of women in communities, with the aim of moving us towards more representative and inclusive employment in digital roles across the region. This could include roles in virtual reality, VFX design or software development.”
 
Each partner organisation already has their own strong networks that they will use to raise awareness of the project, which aims to improve the skills and experience of at least 350 women.
 
More details about WIDJET can be found on our webpage www.westofengland-ca.gov.uk or by emailing – widjet@westofengland-ca.gov.uk
 

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News

West of England secures new Careers Hub

 

A new West of England Careers Hub is being set up to improve career opportunities for young people.
 
It was announced last week that the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) and Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) have secured £220,000 from the Careers & Enterprise Company to establish the new Hub.
 
Managed by WECA and the LEP, it will initially work with 25 schools and colleges from across Bristol, Bath & North East Somerset, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset. Bath College, along with other schools and colleges will be supported to improve careers opportunities and work experiences for young people, allowing them to make more informed choices about their careers.
 
Tim Bowles, West of England Mayor, said: “Our region is home to over 40,000 businesses and has one of the highest skilled workforces in the country. We have many high-quality jobs and we want to give locally grown talent every opportunity to secure employment here in our region.
 
“The new Careers Hub will ensure young people have more opportunities to connect with the world of work and potential future employers. Evidence shows that if a student has four or more opportunities to engage with an employer, they are more likely to secure employment, and earn more during their career.”
 
Laurel Penrose, Principal and Chief Executive of Bath College said that: “Part of our strategic focus is to ensure that Bath College continues to build business links across the South West of England so this announcement is incredibly exciting. Developing these opportunities to enhance links with industry, as well as educational partners, can only benefit the region”.
 
Chair of the West of England LEP, Prof Steve West, said: “This is great news for our region. The new Hub will play a key role in the long-term success of our economy, building on the success of our existing Enterprise Adviser Network, and strong partnerships with UWE, schools, colleges, and businesses to ensure young people get timely and relevant careers advice and meaningful work experience.”
 
There are currently 40 Enterprise Advisors in the West of England, who are trained volunteers from the local business community. They work with headteachers and school leaders, sharing their knowledge and experiences and helping to deliver better careers support and work experience opportunities.
 
The network is looking for more professionals from local businesses to volunteer as Enterprise Advisors. If you are interested in getting involved please contact enterprise@westofengland.org.
 
Additional funds for the Hub will be provided by WECA, the LEP and Future Quest.
 

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