As one of the leading ‘digital’ colleges in Scotland, Dundee and Angus College is excited to be working with ENABLE Works to deliver digital skills training to disabled people in Dundee.
Since the launch of the college’s Digital Strategy in May 2018, it has developed a wide-ranging portfolio and now wants to share this digital expertise with the wider community.
A recent report by Skills Development Scotland (SDS) states that tech employers in particular are missing out on a massive talent pool. At least 1 in 10 of Scotland’s population are neurodivergent with proven skills that can improve productivity, creativity and innovation in the workplace. SDS recommends employers take action to benefit from increased neurodiversity in their teams, including introducing more flexible recruitment processes. The education sector can also play a huge part by helping to plug the skills gap in the fast-growing digital economy.
D&A College’s partnership with ENABLE Works will be just one of the many ways in which this can happen. The charity has been granted £35k from the STV Children’s Appeal for the purchase of software and high-tech IT equipment which will be used to deliver both basic and enhanced digital skills training.
The project aims to challenge attitudes to learning disabilities, allowing people to live as equal members of society. Students will learn essential skills employers want, gain work experience support, and increase their awareness of employment opportunities in Dundee’s growing digital sector.
Jamie Rutherford, Director of ENABLE Works, says, “Having access to the right skills and training is essential for people who want to work in the growing digital industry, particularly in Dundee. We want to make sure that young disabled people in the city of Dundee also have that opportunity and this unique partnership with Dundee and Angus College and ENABLE Works will achieve that.”
D&A College has created a bespoke designated digital hub which will enhance inclusion and fit the needs of the students enrolled on this programme. Each training course will run over an eight-week period leading to a variety of qualifications, depending on experience and existing knowledge.
The final week of the programme in December will see the students proudly showcase their projects to friends, families and carers.
Principal Simon Hewitt says, “Dundee and Angus College is proud to be working with ENABLE Scotland on this innovative and inspiring new partnership. The potential growth opportunities for the digital sector within the region are significant, so it’s vital we provide a wide range of training opportunities, partnerships and projects to fulfil these and to help build a thriving, diverse and inclusive workforce.”
Dundee and Angus College is moving away from traditional thinking and focussing much more on careers not courses. It wants the people of the Dundee and Angus region to be better informed and prepared for the career options available to them, no matter what stage they are at.