Increased skills and connectivity for East Yorkshire and the Humber as the region is named as the UK’s fastest growing region for digital jobs

  • £37,500 invested to keep digital skills growing in the Humber region
  • Boost comes as Hull and East Yorkshire are named the UK’s fastest growing region for digital jobs
  • 37 local elementary schools get super-fast broadband for the next generation of online learning

A new campaign to improve the digital skills of thousands of people across the Humber is launched today following co-funding from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). It comes as new figures reveal the tech sector in Hull and East Yorkshire is one of the fastest growing in the UK.

Technology Minister Chris Philp is in Hull today to officially launch a new Local Digital Skills Partnership, a new campaign to equip people for the region’s digital jobs boom and ensure that more residents can benefit from the booming local tech sector.

New data from a smarter job search engine Adzuna and Dealroom published today reveals that the number of digital employees in Hull and East Yorkshire is growing at 8% per year, making it the fastest growing region in the UK for digital jobs.

It follows a report published by DCMS which showed that the region’s digital sector is expected to add an additional £1.6 billion to the economy each year by 2025, creating an additional 42,200 jobs.

The partnership – a coalition of local authorities, businesses and education service providers – will make it easier for businesses and residents to identify gaps in their skills and access training on a range of topics from software development and data management to digital marketing.

It comes as the government continues its mission to level communities and revolutionize public services with faster internet speeds, with the completion of a project to connect a series of primary schools in East Riding with broadband ultra-reliable and ultra-fast gigabit.

Digital Minister Chris Philp said:

Yorkshire and the Humber has huge potential to become a leading tech destination in the UK, which will put rocket boosters on the region’s economy and help unlock new innovations that improve people’s lives. But we need to make sure people have the skills and talents needed for these jobs of the future. Our Local Digital Skills Partnership will give residents and businesses the chance to be part of the digital revolution unfolding on their doorstep.

Following a successful independent pilot project, the Humber Local Digital Skills Partnership has been co-funded by DCMS to continue its important work in the community.

Hull City Council Leader Daren Hale said:

The Humber Region has led the way in building digital skills and creating opportunities in the digital sector. I am therefore delighted that the government has recognized the success of the Humber Local Digital Skills Partnership pilot project. The council continued to support the LDSP, serving on its steering group to offer support and expertise to help shape the city’s digital future. The partnership has proven invaluable to the council and the local economy.

Since 2018, DCMS has successfully managed partnerships in seven other locations including Lancashire, Chesire and Warrington and the West Midlands. Being part of the partnership means local councils can benefit from monthly networking events and industry sessions, learning from leading skills programs such as Google Digital Garage and the Lloyds Bank Academy.

These initiatives have brought benefits, including better career opportunities for local people – including groups typically underrepresented in the digital workforce – and better understanding for companies of the training provision available in all the countries.

Charlotte Collyer, LEP South West Digital Skills Partnership Manager, said:

The Heart of the South West LEP Digital Skills Partnership has been connecting individuals and businesses to high-quality, fully-funded digital skills initiatives in Devon, Somerset, Plymouth and Torbay for 3 years.

The strategic input from the DCMS Digital Skills Partnership Policy Manager and the connections made through the DSP network enabled us to leverage a significant additional investment in digital skills activity for our region and we welcome the opportunity to work with East Yorkshire and Humber DSP to share our knowledge and build best practice.

Today’s launch comes as government-backed work, in partnership with the East Riding of Yorkshire Council to connect 37 East Riding primary schools, has been completed. This deployment will transform online learning opportunities for students and drive commercial investment in the region’s all-fiber networks.

Councilor Jonathan Owen, leader of the East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said:

The successful delivery of these two fiber optic broadband programs will give our more rural schools a boost, making a welcome difference for students and staff as they continue their learning.

We want to continue to provide the best cutting-edge technology capabilities to our region, and this is a critical example of that forward thinking.

The rollout of gigabit broadband in the East Riding builds on the high level of broadband coverage in Hull and East Yorkshire, with Hull enjoying the best full fiber broadband coverage of any UK city to support a thriving tech startup scene. Hull is home to more than 60 tech startups, including challenger broadband provider Connexin, which recently raised £80m in investment, and product lifecycle management software Bombyx PLM.

Lucy Blackley, Founder and Director of Bombyx PLM, said:

Bombyx PLM had a stellar 2021 – we grew 300% in the last 12 months, added new customers in the UK and our team grew to 10 people.

I couldn’t imagine expanding my business to another city – the welcoming atmosphere of C4DI and the support network of other entrepreneurs in Hull were key in helping us achieve these fantastic results. I can’t wait to see what 2022 has in store for Bombyx PLM. Minister Philp will also visit Center 4 Digital Innovation in Hull, a technology accelerator that helps new businesses scale and connect within the local digital community.

ENDS

Notes to Editor:The Humber Local Digital Skills Partnership has received matching funding of £37,500 from DCMS. *An independent evaluation conducted by Amion Consulting assessed the impact of six regions setting up Local Digital Skills Partnerships in September 2021. The full report is available here.The 37 primary school connections were funded by an investment of £847,000 from two government schemes: Full Fiber Local Area Networks (£508,000) and Rural Gigabit Connectivity (£339,000).