Develop-me-Instructor-Oli-WardNew Bristol-based digital training company, Develop Me, is set to start addressing the digital skills shortage here in the South West.

First they hope to identify what the shortages are that the sector needs to continue to grow and thrive, and then offer companies and individuals the opportunity to up-skill and cross-train with commercially relevant courses.

Develop Me was founded by digital agency Technical Director Oli Ward and Digital Recruiter Pete New, with a focus to ensure that apprentices, graduates, marketing managers, developers and designers have access to up-to-date digital training delivered by industry experts.

The company, which is supported by Creative Skills Hub and Creative Skillset, held their first courses during the 2014 Bath Digital Festival.

“It’s been widely acknowledged that a lack of skilled talent is holding the digital economy back in the UK”

 

The company has launched a skills survey to help them understand training needs, and are inviting those working in the sector who have talent shortages or digital skill needs to complete it.

Oli-Ward-Founder-Instructor-develop-meAs Oli Ward (pictured left), co-founder of and trainer for Develop Me, explains:  “As the head of a technical department I’ve experienced first-hand how acutely difficult it is to find quality individuals to hire to address the technical talent needs of a growing company. It’s an issue that everyone is talking about across the region, and so we decided to try to do something about it.

“Our focus is on connecting with companies and individuals to understand their needs, and start to address them at a regional-level.”

Filling an education gap

Pete-New-Founder-develop-mePete New (right), the other co-founder, adds: “It’s been widely acknowledged that a lack of skilled talent is holding the digital economy back in the UK. The digital sector has grown rapidly in recent years and has seen the skills gap widen to an unsustainable level.

“At ground level things are starting to change, what with the recent changes to the IT curriculum in schools, and the great work being done by the likes of Code Club, Young Rewired State and CoderDojo in bringing coding to children and young people across the UK. We will hopefully see a new tech savvy generation of digital experts coming through into the sector over the next decade.

“What we’re doing works alongside all of this but aims to start making a real impact to industry immediately.”

 “Develop Me’s offering is key to helping ensure companies have access to relevant and joined-up skills provisions across the West of England”

 

Nicky Williams, Skills Advisor at Creative Skills Hub agrees: “Develop Me’s offering is key to helping ensure companies have access to relevant and joined-up skills provisions across the West of England.

“Our purpose is in helping SMEs grow, attract the talent they need to up-skill and to help new talent to find the right pathways into employment. Access to commercially-relevant training is an important part of that.”

For more information visit the Develop Me website.

Jamie Middleton