Let’s get digital – new project to support Construction businesses across Devon

Applications have now opened for a new European Social Fund (ESF) programme that will support local Construction businesses across Devon to gain access to fully funded digital training.

The vast majority of the UK Construction Sector is made up of Small, Micro and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). The Lloyds Business Digital Index 2018 highlighted £84.5bn is being lost to the UK economy through 42% of SMEs not having the five basic digital skills:

  • Managing information: Find, manage and store digital information and content
  • Communicating: Communicate, interact, collaborate, share and connect with others
  • Transacting: Purchase and sell goods and services, organise finances, register for and use Government digital services
  • Creating: Engage with communities and create basic digital content
  • Problem Solving: Increase independence and confidence by solving problems using digital tools and finding solutions

The ‘Digital Enablement for SMEs’ (DESME) programme is being delivered by Building Growth South West in partnership with Devon County Council and Cosmic to help address the digital skills gap in the Construction industry and upskill the local workforce. 

By focusing on the most in-need employers, the DESME programme will seek to unlock new opportunities for Construction SMEs at the bottom tiers of the supply chain through a variety of workshops and training. 

“YTKO is excited to be leading this project to make sure that local Devon construction businesses benefit from this funding. Digital skills in construction is not just about whizzy design technology and virtual reality. We are helping local firms to develop basic IT skills, accountancy software, social media and websites. It is these digital technologies which will have a massive impact and ensure that Devon construction companies are set for an exciting future.” – Philip Stott, Head of Construction and Sustainability at YTKO 

“The Digital Enablement for Small and Medium Enterprises (DESME) European Social Fund programme is an innovative initiative aimed at addressing the leadership and digital skills challenges faced by small and medium businesses, especially the construction sector, to drive digital transformation across the business and in turn help with business growth. The Digital Skills Partnership is proud to partner with Cosmic and YKTO to realise this support.” – Charlotte Collyer, Heart of the South West LEP Digital Skills Partnership

“Digital skills are now truly essential to all businesses, but in particular the construction industry. Their unique staff profile, with the majority of their workforce being highly mobile, creates an even bigger problem for productivity if they lack digital skills and training. Even one staff member without skills can reduce their working week by half a day. We are delighted to be working on this programme to support and improve the skills of the sector, and by improving skills, increasing productivity and profitability.” – Kate Doodson, Joint Chief Executive and Digital Transformation Consultant & Coach at Cosmic 

To find out more about the programme click here