What are the current digital skills needs in Leeds?

white industrial-style room with five people of mixed ages and ethnic backgrounds sharing a laptop
What digital skills are most needed, and what can Leeds City Council do to help with training?
Credit: Leeds City Council, Future Talent Leeds

Digital skills are some of the most requested in job postings, with employers trying to keep pace with advancing technology and more demands of services/products in an increasingly 'switched on' world. As 'digital' becomes as much a part of other industries as something in its own right, how do you define skills and properly explore what people need and what employers are looking for? In collaboration with Tech Nation and Henri Egle Sorotos (who has just become one of our new data leaders) in 2018, we took a look at jobs data and the kind of skills they were asking for. More recently, Jodie Levy, Head of Regional Tech Policy at DCMS, spoke at our Levelling Up launch about assessing the UK's regional digital ecosystems; and Tom Forth, Head of Data at Open Innovations and co-founder of The Data City, spoke at Northernlands 4 about getting a better picture of the North's economy and the sectors/industries that stand out.

So we have done some work on digital skills data, but we know there are some amazing people in Leeds who are also working on digital skills data. We also know a lot of people in the digital sector that know where the skills gaps are. This is an opportunity to have your say. Louise Wood from Leeds City Council is actively seeking feedback about your recruitment experience when looking for new employees, via this digital skills survey. Read on to find out more:

My name is Louise Wood, I am an Employment & Skills Manager from Leeds City Council and Master’s degree student at Leeds Beckett University, where my role and research area of study focuses on Digital Skills within the city.

It is reported that Leeds has the fastest growing digital economy in the UK, with its digital sector employing more than 100,000 people (source - Leeds Digital Festival, 2022). To help meet the workforce needs of the growing Leeds digital economy, our aim is to understand the current digital skills needs within the city so that we can be more effective at focusing resources to help tackle skills gaps.

We are aware that lots of great things are already happening to support the digital sector across the city and wider, and as such want to add value to this and not duplicate where it is not necessary to do so. The hope is that collecting relevant information on current skills needs from our Leeds digital employers, will allow us to identify where to focus and make the biggest impact. Also to help identify which partners and stakeholders we will need to involve in actions to get the best possible outcome.

As part of the research, we are looking for Leeds based employers from the digital technology sector to answer a few questions regarding recruitment and skills to help generate information and feedback, which will allow evaluation of the current skills needs for our city. If you would like to contribute to this Leeds digital skills evaluation, please could you complete this short survey. The survey should take no longer than 5 minutes to complete, all responses given will be confidential and anonymised in any final reports. If you can't use Google Forms, then you can send your feedback by email