How do I boost digital skills in my Sandwell business? How do I use my digital skills to help others?
The digital revolution is transforming everything from work and education to communication and healthcare. In business, digital skills allow our organisations to be agile, innovative, flexible and collaborative. Here we’ve rounded up resources to help you keep your Sandwell workforce digitally savvy and ensure no-one is left behind.
Boost digital skills in your business
Sandwell Adult and Family Learning Service (SAFL)
Sandwell Council’s adult education provider SAFL offers fully funded IT and digital skills courses through the West Midlands Combined Authority. SAFL has three main centres across Sandwell, in Smethwick, West Bromwich and Tipton. Whether you want to upskill yourself or your employees, you will find IT and digital skills courses to help.
The next generation in mobile technology, 5G is set to transform way we live and work in the way that 4G and smartphones have already changed our lives. WM5G is a multimillion pound West Midlands partnership organisation which communicates and accelerates the benefits of 5G technology in our region. Find out more at www.wm5g.org.uk.
UK5G has launched an online resource to support 5G adoption across the manufacturing sector. The national innovation network’s dedicated hub aims to help manufacturing businesses to unlock the power of 5G by exploring practical ways to effectively implement it across operations. Find out more about UK5G and register to join the network by visiting the UK5G website.
Cyber Resilience Centre for the West Midlands
WMCRC offers free membership to West Midlands businesses which includes a review of your current cyber setup, access to information and guidance, regular newsletters with tips and tricks, and invitations to webinars, roadshows and conferences – all designed to help prepare and protect your business against attacks from cyber criminals. Sign up at the WMCRC website.
Grow your business with digital skills and technology
Be The Business
Be The Business is a resources platform supported by UK government and developed by real businesses. It has lots of information focused on improving your skills as a business leader – including a section on digital improvements.
Enterprise Nation has partnered with Google to offer free one-to-one mentoring to help small businesses become more discoverable online, create digital marketing strategies, sell products more effectively online and understand Google Analytics. You can find out more, and request a mentor, here.
Help to Grow: Digital
Help to Grow: Digital is a UK government initiative that gives eligible businesses advice and discounts on technology to boost their performance. The scheme launched in January 2022 – you can find out more here.
Made Smarter is a programme to grow UK manufacturing through digital technologies, innovation and skills. As reported by the Black Country Growth Hub, Jit Chandra is the digital technology specialist in the Black Country. Find out more about the programme and register via the website: www.madesmarter.uk.
Leading IT training provider Netcom Training, which is based at the Aston Science Park in Birmingham, offers a fully funded ‘Website and Marketing for Entrepreneurs’ course, giving you the knowledge and understanding you need to thrive in your role as business owner.
Develop your own tech skills
School of Code
Funded by the West Midlands Combined Authority, School of Code aims to give everyone a route into technology. It offers coding bootcamps: free intensive and flexible coding courses which are open to applicants of all backgrounds. You don’t need to have any previous technical experience or any qualifications. You can register your interest for future School of Code cohorts here.
Women in Data Academy
Funded by the West Midlands Combined Authority, Women in Data Academy‘s programme is designed to help West Midlands women (including those living in Sandwell) develop skills to get into data engineering / science and technology careers. There are no special hurdles: the academy is keen for women of all ages to apply regardless of experience and whether degree-educated or not. Find out more about the Women in Data Academy.
Attend forthcoming digital events
If you know of any events, on person or online, relating to digital skills, please let us know so we can publicise them here.
Help others to boost their digital skills or access technology
Sandwell Digital Donation
Sandwell Digital Donation is a partnership between between Sandwell Council, Black Country Housing Group and West Bromwich social enterprise Repc Ltd. It provides re-conditioned digital devices (PCs, laptops, tablets) to Sandwell families in need. If your organisation has any digital device it no longer needs, you can donate it to help others.
5PRING Mentorship Community
The 5PRING Mentorship Community is being created to enable experts to support entrepreneurs to become trailblazers in their industries. If you are interested, and highly skilled in at least one subject area (such as marketing, finance, legal, pricing, artificial intelligence or computer vision), find out more at the WM5G website.
This page was last updated in January 2023.