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69. Co-designing a Digital Framework for Hull and East Yorkshire

Kada Research were commissioned by the Hull and East Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership (HEY LEP) TEC Partnership and the Local Digital Skills Partnership (LDSP) to develop a Digital Framework – Industry 4.0 for HEY to set out a clear vision for growing the local digital and tech ecosystem guided by environmental sustainability principles and supported by the Department for Education Strategic Development Fund 2 (SDF2).

The objectives of the study were two-fold: i) to provide a succinct overview of HEY’s digital ecosystem identifying the strengths, opportunities and barriers to development, aligned with Industry 4.0 applications (e.g. digital connectivity, public service provision and industrial transformation), and ii) to develop a blueprint for digital development in HEY with an ambitious yet achievable vision, building on areas of excellence and addressing any gaps identified. The inclusion of environmental sustainability as a cross-cutting theme was key given the priorities for decarbonising HEY’s main industries and supporting the development of a fast-growing renewables sector across the Humber.

The research underpinning the Framework involved a detailed desk review to explore the current position relating to connectivity, the economic and labour market context, and digital/tech and green skills supply and demand. A series of interactive in-person workshops were facilitated at different locations in HEY bringing together education and training providers, civic body representatives, digital and tech businesses and young people to co-design the Framework themes and vision. Quantitative and qualitative data gathered from the desk review and primary research were analysed systematically to confirm a set of 5 themes with outcomes and enablers to support the achievement of a vision that reflected HEY’s aspirations and strengths.

The themes identified highlight HEY’s digital ecosystem priorities including achieving optimum levels of connectivity across the HEY area, ensuring equitable access to local services and digital inclusion. Seizing the opportunities for leading sustainable innovation to facilitate industrial decarbonisation and growth within HEY’s renewable power sector and further strengthening HEY’s digital and green skills pipeline also represent important pillars of the Framework. The Framework has been published on the HEY LEP website and is being used to inform decisions and plans for HEY’s digital skills provision.

“The co-designed Digital Framework for Hull and East Yorkshire provides stakeholders with a blueprint around which devolved regeneration activity can align. Kada Research facilitated the co-production process ensuring all local stakeholders were given the opportunity to contribute to the forward-looking vision for the Hull and East Yorkshire digital ecosystem and also undertook research to inform the strategic direction. The outcome was a positive statement which showcases the unique strengths of the HEY region, the opportunities on which to build and a set of key priorities around which all stakeholders can align and contribute towards helping develop the digital and tech sector in Hull and East Yorkshire.”

Chris Howell, Employment and Skills Manager for HEYLEP

“Developing the Digital Framework for HEY LEP was an exciting and interesting project involving a wide range of stakeholders and input from across businesses, public sector organisations and young people. Our research highlighted the unique strengths within HEY’s digital and environmental sustainability ecosystems that offer substantial opportunities aligned with Industry 4.0 and 5.0 themes. Maximising these opportunities in tandem with addressing the local challenges highlighted by the research provide the foundations for bolstering HEY’s digital skills supply to support a sustainable future.”

Dr Laura Lane, Study Director.

If you are thinking about commissioning a digital skills framework or research into skills for priority and growth sectors, or if you would like to talk through an idea you can contact Laura Lane at laura@kadaresearch.co.uk