Introducing the BDF Digital Skills Exchange

We're tackling the digital talent and skills shortage head on with the launch of a new pilot programme. Read on to find out more...

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Becky Rock-Evans

10th July 2020

The need

Why we're tackling the skills and jobs gap

Automation and robotics is changing the employment landscape and in turn the need for digital skills as a basic standard in the workforce is even more important in order to fill the vacancies available. Given the current pandemic that has hit our world, this challenge is only going to get greater with more people out of work and seeking new opportunities.

Even before the pandemic there was a digital skills shortage in Bath. Business are struggling to recruit the talent they need because:

  1. Talent remains in the larger cities or, if heading to the South West, bypasses Bath straight to Bristol and; 
  2. the talent that does exist isn’t aware of the businesses and opportunities that reside in Bath. 

Bath Digital Festival is tackling the skills and jobs gap head on and supporting businesses to find the talent they need by:

  • Showcasing the businesses that reside in Bath
  • Showcasing the digital and tech roles available in Bath. 
  • Attracting talent to the region by putting Bath on the map (as a tech hub)
  • Match talent with businesses and jobs.

The project

Here's what we're planning

The BDF Digital Skills Exchange will improve the flow of talent into businesses. With this project, there are two main areas to address: 

  • Help people to realise they have the skills required for the digital and tech roles that exists
  • Unlock the working environment by opening the doors of Bath businesses - showcasing the work they do and the digital roles available. 

The BDF Digital Skills Exchange will run in three parts (outlined below); each part linking businesses with four talent pool types:

  • Young people starting their digital journey;
  • Those looking to re-skill;
  • Returning workers;
  • Those already in tech and looking for their next step.

Part 1: Digital Skills Roadshow

Taking to the road, BDF will go out on location to host events for each talent pool. Each event will offer information and workshops around creativity and problem-solving skills and how that can be transformed into a digital career.

Part 2: Bath’s Open Doors

Bringing talent into businesses and businesses to talent, we’ll unlock the work environment in Bath and the surrounding area. Businesses who join the programme will open their doors to the four talent pools inviting them to access the real working environment and giving them the opportunity to talk to the people already doing the digital roles.

Part 3: Bath Digital Portal

An online hub for businesses and talent to use as an information portal and resource tool for recruitment and career development.


Our three year plan, in a nutshell

The programme will launch in October 2020 with the Digital Skills Exchange pilot. The full programme will run from October 2021 allowing two years to scale and tweak. By October 2023, we expect to have a Digital Skills Exchange legacy in place that will continue to run self-sufficiently each year. 

The 2020 pilot

So what's in store for this year?

The pilot will launch at the festival on 20 October 2020 to showcase our research and the need for a project of this scale. 

Throughout the year we will run four roadshow events; one for each talent pool and finish with a big open doors event in partnership with all our supporting businesses. 

Jump on board

Here's how businesses can get involved

We’re looking for delivery partners, funders and sponsors. Support us and reap the benefits of enhanced business exposure and access to your future talent pipeline.

If you’re interesting in being involved then we'd really like to chat to you.

Get in touch

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