Gareth Day, head of digital media, art and design at South Devon College, writes in the Torbay Weekly:

Improving digital skills will be top of the list for many employersImproving digital skills will be top of the list for many employers

Many of us are beginning to get used the ‘new normal’ and to understand what this means at work. Among many other things, lockdown brought into sharp focus the importance of having a digitally savvy and self-sufficient workforce.

At the college, we’ve required a lot of our teaching and support staff to set up a workstation at home, to engage in meetings and lead classes virtually via Microsoft Teams, to produce videos to share with students and colleagues, and to adopt new apps and technologies without face-to-face training.

Our team have invariably risen to the challenge, and as a result we have defined new efficient ways of working that are worth adopting long term.

As we begin to return to our offices and turn our attention to what needs to be done to recover from the impact of Covid-19, investing in our people has to be high on the agenda. Improving digital skills will be top of the list for many employers.

Gareth Day, head of digital media, art and design at South Devon CollegeGareth Day, head of digital media, art and design at South Devon College

The college offers a suite of digital courses tailored to those at every level, from its state-of-the-art Hi Tech and Digital Centre in Paignton.

As the threat from cyber attack and the associated potential risk for businesses increases, cyber security will be front of mind for many. The college’s online e-safety course is aimed at those with no previous experience and as such is a highly accessible and worthwhile option.

For those thinking of taking the advantage of the Government’s recently announced increased incentives, of up to £3,000 per apprentice, to up-skill existing employees and adapt to new opportunities, it’s worth taking a look at the range of digital apprenticeships available at the college, including software developer and computing infrastructure technician.

Of course, there are inevitably many of us who may now be looking for new opportunities and looking to strengthen their CVs in a competitive marketplace, and with spaces on many courses starting this September, now is the time to take that step.

For more information about the digital courses on offer at all levels at the college and funding available to businesses and individuals, call the Helpzone team on 08000 380 123 or email enquiries@southdevon.ac.uk. Or book a place to attend the college information week at southdevon.ac.uk/events