College supports digital workforce revolution

Demand for digital skills training is set to increase after the pandemic as businesses transform their workforce to embrace new technologies, believes the head of a new academy. Matthew Smith (pictured),

director of the Digital Skills Academy based at North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College, believes the shift to remote working during Covid-19 lockdown has exacerbated the need for digital skills. The academy was set up earlier

this year and is designed to provide industry-relevant teaching on a flexible basis – with the aim of offering students a pathway to “in- demand” digital jobs. Matthew said: “The digital sector

is booming, and we have seen in recent months how businesses that use technology creatively can succeed under even the most difficult circumstances. “GPs are moving to video

consultations, up to 60% of the adult population has been working productively at home, and there has been a huge increase in e- commerce. The drive to get the remaining one-fifth of the UK

University secures funding for KTP

The University of Derby has secured Government funding for a new knowledge transfer partnership (KTP) with a company at the cutting edge of the financial sector. It will collaborate with Aquis Exchange PLC on a research and

development project based around machine learning, with the aim of enhancing the company’s ability to monitor trading behaviour and identify abuses within financial markets. Machine learning, a form of artificial intelligence, is the study of computer algorithms that adapt and improve through experience.

population who currently don’t use the internet to join the online community represents a significant challenge.” Its courses, available online,

include the CompTIA IT Fundamentals (ITF+), which covers the basics of computing, systems, data, applications, software, installing printers and other devices, and how establish a wireless network. It also covers how to use databases and the basics of reducing security risks. The college, which has campuses

in Wigston, Hinckley and Harrowbrook, also offers apprenticeship training.


‘Sorry I can’t come in today…’

As a leader of people, what goes through your mind, when you hear those words? Ripple Partners, a Rutland based people

development organisation, has successfully delivered an innovative and bespoke programme for the NFU, designed to help leaders manage absence more effectively. Jane Batty (pictured), founder of Ripple, said: ‘We

helped managers and leaders think more broadly about ‘health and wellbeing’ – of which managing absence is just one small part. Creating an interactive workshop using bespoke case studies and activities allowed everyone to share their experiences, learn from each other and really helped ‘land’ the launch of the NFU’s policy and processes - in a memorable way’.

Mary Nugent (NFU L&D Adviser) said: ‘Ripple turned ideas into measurable outcomes with a thick coating of innovation and sparkle!’

Ripple delight in helping individuals, teams and leaders be more effective.

Contact us on Tel: 07773 571879, Email: Or visit:

‘We firmly believe that this is where the future of surveillance lies’ The university’s role is to recruit recent graduates with the skills

required by the company to undertake the project and ensure Aquis remains a specialist provider of innovative technology to the finance industry. The partnership is backed by a £151,000 government grant delivered by Innovate UK, which enables businesses to use KTPs to improve productivity and performance by providing the funding to take forward new ideas. Jackie Edwards, knowledge exchange manager at the University of

Derby, said: “We are delighted to have secured this partnership with Aquis Exchange, and to be supporting the company’s objective of establishing itself as one of the leading suppliers of market trading surveillance.” Alasdair Haynes, CEO of Aquis Exchange, added: “We firmly believe

that this is where the future of surveillance lies and our philosophy at Aquis is to be always at the cutting edge of innovation.” The University has worked on KTPs with companies in a variety of

different industries, including one to measure the economic impact of Chatsworth House, the Derbyshire home of the Duke of Devonshire.

62 business network October 2020

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