Need for digital skills highlighted by study

JOBS in the digital sector are set to rise by 15 per cent, or 4,000, in the next decade across the Leeds city region, which includes Bradford, a new study shows.

Research by the Local Enterprise Partnership into the city region’s labour market shows that the information technology sector has one of the fastest forecast rates of growth over the next ten years.

Digital skills will be in especially high demand, not only within the information technology sector but across the labour market.

The analysis highlights that high-skilled jobs will continue to be the area of strongest demand across the region with employment levels in management, professional and associate professional occupations projected to grow three times as quickly as the average for all jobs over the next ten years.

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The LEP said this would further boost the city region’s strong digital, advanced manufacturing and financial and professional services sectors.

In 2014/15 the city region saw a higher than average 19 per cent of employers offering apprenticeships with advanced apprenticeships growing by 25 per cent and higher apprenticeship starts doubling.

Bradford Council leader Susan Hinchliffe, who is the LEP’s skills lead, said: “This research encourages us to look at which industries we expect to generate the future jobs and what we can do now to invest in the skills pipeline.

“Despite making great progress on higher level skills, we still have some way to go to address the skills imbalance. “With our ongoing devolution discussions with government, we will continue to bang the drum for further investment in skills support to achieve good growth for all.