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Digital Skills Partnership Newsletter – September 2020

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Inspiring digital skills excellence and supporting digital upskilling


September always brings renewed energy and optimism and whilst these are challenging times we hope there’s something in our round-up that can help you boost your digital skills over the months and year ahead.

In this newsletter, you’ll find:-

  • Bounce Back Digital is back!
  • Coursera – there are still 5 weeks to sign up
  • The Skills Launchpad Skilllab – an invite to help shape it’s design
  • Microsoft Digital Skills Week 14-19th of September
  • National Centre for Cyber Security Degree Apprenticeships and Bursaries
  • Teach Computing update from the NCCE

We hope you find this update useful, stay well and take care! Charlotte and Julie

New dates announced for September and October!

Our COVID response Bounce Back Digital programme for businesses proved popular with over 500 businesses across the region attending over 50 digital skill and digital platforms workshops and webinars in June and July. Following this success, we’ve looked at the data, read the feedback from attendees and are pleased to be able to re-run the most popular sessions.

So! There are 23 workshops scheduled starting from this Friday. Here’s a taster of what you could learn; Build your 1st Shopify website, Understanding which Digital Payment Gateway is right for your business, Learn how to set up and manage your Etsy and Instagram channel, How to get the most out of Office 365 and G-Suite through to learning new digital productivity tools like Trello.

Here’s what some of the business attending so far have said:

“Given me a useful tool I would not have found otherwise; can see an immediate benefit of using it in my business”

“It showed me new avenues I can promote my products. It showed me what I was doing wrong on the ones I already use which will hopefully help to improve my sales”

“Lots of great info that I can now integrate for my new business”

“Gave me an introduction to digital marketing skills”

“Brought me up to speed with the platform. Will now use it for Sales generation going forward.”

“As a sole trader, I’m not in an environment where I can pick up skills from a colleague. Not only is it useful to hear the trainer but also how other intend to use new skills”

“Sharpened my enthusiasm and energy to build a new website and to make it work for us. Very useful insight !”


There’s still time to register and start learning with Coursera!

Up until the end of October anyone looking for their next job, changing roles or looking to upskill can register for one of the 5,000 licences to use Coursera for free in 2020.

What is Coursera?

Coursera is a world-leading online learning platform for higher education. With short to medium courses from world-class universities and industry giants, the online platform is available 24/7 allowing you to learn something new anytime, anywhere. Through a local government offer, access to Coursera is now free for a limited period of time.

With Coursera you can:

  • Learn skills that are in-demand,  all the courses available relate either to in-demand roles, growing or Covid-19 resilient sectors.
  • Get ready for a career with job-ready or management short courses.
  • Earn a certificate of completion from a leading university or the likes of Google or IBM to add to your CV.

With over 4,000+ courses to choose from visit our Coursera page to find out more and sign up.

Can you help with Market Research for a new career tool?

Are you 55? Live in Devon? In work or currently seeking work?

We are looking for a small group of people that fit this bill to take part in over the phone market research into a new app Skilllab are developing with the Digital Skills Partnership and partners at South Devon College and Coursera.

The conversation would last no more than 30 minutes at a time to suit you during September.

What will the conversation be about? We’re keen to understand how you hear about vacancies, different jobs that you may have had, your education, hobbies and interests outside work.
How will your information be used? We will anonymise your responses but the insights you share will help us develop the Skills Launchpad Skilllab app that helps mature workers re-profile their experience in order to support them accessing more resilient types of work.

All market research participants will be reimbursed by voucher to the value of £20 before 31/10/2020
To take part please email Christoph at Skilllab

Microsoft Digital Skills Week 14 – 18th of September

During the week attend thought leadership sessions and free workshops:-

  • Work less, do more with Microsoft Power Automate
  • Rock your LinkedIn Profile
  • Microsoft 365 Training Day: Journey to Microsoft Teams
  • Cyber Security for Businesses
  • Microsoft Dynamics 365 Training Day
  • Virtual Workshop – Make your business more accessible
  • AI Business School Workshop
  • Microsoft Azure Training Day: Fundamentals

Techstars Startup Weekend Plymouth
13th – 15th of November 2020

The 54-hour virtual event has a new format, but the inspiration, energy and educational opportunities for entrepreneurs is as strong as ever – you’ll connect with amazing mentors, industry experts, founders, and partners all of whom have been there and got the t-shirt and are ready to help you get started. Interested?  Read on

The Digital Advantage Programme is a programme of targeted support and specialist digital support specifically for businesses in Northern Devon.

The programme aims to develop knowledge, strategy and insights for SMEs to gain competitive advantage through their digital offer, operations and business models.

The project is set-up to offer eligible businesses up to 12 hours of guidance and support through a range of digital workshops and 1:1 support. Find out about the support and workshops running this September.

Tech Nation have launched applications for three of its leading fully-funded growth programmes for tech businesses; Rising Stars 3.0, Upscale 6.0 and Future Fifty 9.0.

Apply now and scale to new heights.


We’ve mentioned it before but don’t forget Digital Boost is up and running, a free-to-use platform that matches digital experts with micro and SME businesses and charities who have digital support ‘asks’. The request for help could be anything from how to understand Google Analytics, creating a logo for a new service launching or how to develop online messaging. The support is delivered by matching the business with an expert volunteer. Alongside raising awareness of this new platform to our business community the Digital Skills Partnership would like to encourage our in-region digital experts to get involved as volunteers!

CyberFirst University Bursary and Degree Apprenticeships

CyberFirst was set up by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), part of GCHQ, with one goal in mind: to open up the world of cyber security. With 40 degree apprenticeships and 300+ degree bursaries available they are looking to encourage diverse young minds; not just coders but entrepreneurs, public speakers, analysts and more who’ll to become the next generation of cybersecurity specialists.
The CyberFirst University Bursary and Degree Apprenticeship offers successful applicants the opportunity to be financially supported either through a £4k a year Bursary or a £20k a year salary.


The National Centre for Computing Education Teach Computing Curriculum aims to support teachers, reduce workload, and provide outstanding learning experiences for pupils. This massive 18-month project reached its goal this July, completing 500 hours of computing lessons for Key Stage 1 – 4 students (aged 5 -16). They are now working with the National Oak Academy to take these resources one-step further and create ‘live’ lessons.

In addition to the huge computing resource library, the initiative has also seen a 400% increase in the number of teachers signing up to Teach Computing teacher training online courses. All great news for the next generation of digital creators!

Enterprise Nation and Amazon team up to create the Amazon Small Business Accelerator

SME’s can access free bite-sized e-learning videos with expert advisers, hear from digital entrepreneurs and attend sector-specific bootcamps to start and grow a business. Find out more here

Oliver Dowden MP, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, said: “It is vital that small businesses are able to develop the digital skills they need to help connect with customers online, expand their offer and drive their company’s growth. So it’s great to see Amazon and Enterprise Nation joining forces to help thousands of small businesses and startups take full advantage of our dynamic digital economy. I encourage any entrepreneur or small business owner looking to boost their digital presence to get involved.”

Imployable – Skyrocket Your Skills

Over 30 free courses to choose from covering Project Management, Health and Safety, Personal Protective Equipment, Cybersecurity and much more!

Read more about Imployable

The Skills Toolkit

New resources developed by the government offering a selection of digital and numeracy courses, ranging from introductory to more advanced levels.

Read more about the Skills Toolkit

BT Skills for Tomorrow

Free short video tutorials aimed at business. In the ‘Expanding your Skillset’ section you can find short tutorials on Data Science, Data Visualization, Basics of Code and Machine Learning.

Read more about BT Skills for Tomorrow

Future of Tech

Library of resources from CompTIA that include videos and interactive tutorials in Big Data, Cyber Security, Digital Health, Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence.

Read more about Future of Tech

Future Learn

Includes disease outbreak prevention courses.

Read more about Future Learn

Learn My Way

Offers courses on Google, Outlook, Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and productivity tools.

Read more Learn My Way

Lynda – LinkedIn Learning

LinkedIn Learning with over 4000+ courses.

Read more about Lynda – LinkedIn Learning

Remote STEM Lessons for Young People

STEM Learning has released a variety of free curriculum-linked science lessons for children of all ages created and recorded by subject experts, the lessons cover a range of topics, including evolution, forces, and the human body. Lessons can be accessed at any time of day, making them easy to fit into a home learning schedule.

Tech We Can Tuesdays

Free Tech Lessons for kids (10 -13 years) every Tuesday!

Read more about Tech We Can Tuesdays


New initiative to get 13-19 year olds to learn a range of key practical and workplace skills during lockdown through designing and building video games.

Read more about SideQuest

Sparx Maths Virtual Classroom

Exeter-based educational company Sparx is offering all secondary schools around the world free access to Sparx Maths Virtual Classroom; allowing teachers and learners to attend virtual lessons during the COVID-19 lockdown.


Devon-based CodeCreates has pulled together a host of resources aimed at Primary and Secondary pupils that you can use with your family to support coding and creativity.

Read more about CodeCreates

2020 Minecraft Education Challenge

A virtual build challenge that invites students around the world to learn about issues related to sustainability and inclusion, then design solutions with Minecraft: Education Edition.

Read more about 2020 Minecraft Education Challenge

Tech We Can

Free online lesson plans now available for parents and carers teaching at home.

Read more about Tech We Can

Cyber School

Free to attend for Primary and Secondary school students. Classes are held twice daily and last 1 hour. Students attend via Zoom. There are before and after classes for students to complete cyber assignments.

Read more about Cyber School

Barefoot Computing

Easy cross-curriculum lessons and resources for teaching via video link.

Read more about Barefoot Computing


Course in Web Development, Mobile Development and Data Science. Free Code Academy Pro unlimited access passes for 10,000 college students across the world.

Read more CodeAcademy


Offering mini-courses in digital, enterprise and employability skills. As mini subjects are completed you move through your Bronze, Silver and Gold awards.

Read more about iDEA

Cisco Networking Academy

Online courses in the Internet of Things, Linux, Cyber Security, Entrepreneurship.

Read more about Cisco Networking Academy

Google Digital Garage

Online mini-courses in Digital Marketing, Data, Time Management, Productivity and more.

Read more about Google Digital Garage

Institute of Coding

Offering a wide range of industry-inspired courses co-designed by a network of employers and educations.

Read more about the Institute of Coding

BT Skills for Tomorrow

Offering free short video tutorials aimed at daily life, parents, businesses and teachers including:

Video calling – learn how to use video calling to connect with family and friends

Online and mobile banking – providing tips on how to do internet banking using either a computer, tablet or mobile phone, and how to keep track of your money

Online shopping – helping on how to shop online, compare prices, use secure payment methods and understand your rights when buying online

Socialising online – learn how to use social networks like Facebook and Twitter to connect with family and friends and to share things online

Watching and listening online – support to watch TV and listen to radio online, and to use services to listen to music