Sir Terry Matthews backs new partnership to tackle digital skills gap in the Swansea Bay City Region

Tech businessman Sir Terry Matthews is backing a new partnership set up to tackle a digital skills gap in the Swansea Bay City Region.

Digital Skills Training, which launched yesterday, is a venture between Gower College Swansea and IT training development company Stratum Worldwide to improve digital skills in Swansea.

Speaking at the launch event, Sir Terry confirmed his backing and said he was pleased the college is responding to the economic and commercial opportunities by expanding digital networks and the development of applications and services that exploit them.

The project is in the process of piloting various qualifications based around Microsoft’s global certification programme in software development, network security and database management.

These aren’t currently being offered in the region. And using funding from the Welsh Government, the training is available at a substantially cheaper price – and for six months.

Sir Terry, chairman of the Swansea Bay City Region Board, said: “Many people don’t realise that there is a huge global skills deficit in software designers and programmers, and this is a very well numerated sector.

“It is very encouraging to see Gower College Swansea grasping the nettle in the development of skills that are critical to the future of economic prosperity in the Swansea Bay City Region.”

Mark Jones, principal of Gower College Swansea, added: “In recent months, the college has been actively developing new programmes in priority sector areas that directly respond to employer demand and needs.

“Through this partnership, we believe that we have a solid foundation – Stratum’s experience of delivering these programmes combined with the college’s contacts, industry links and resources.”

The new courses will run from September 28th at Gower College Swansea’s Tycoch campus. Successful students will achieve the Microsoft Technology Association (MTA) level and either the Microsoft Certified Solution Associate (MCSA) or the Microsoft Certified Solution Developer (MCSD) levels.

Image credit: UKTI