The Defence Growth Partnership (DGP) has launched a new learning portal, the Defence Digital Skills Framework (DDSF) on the opening day of FIA Connect.

The portal is designed to provide the defence sector with the transformational skills required to accelerate exciting, forward-thinking UK engineering programmes such as the Tempest Future Combat Air Programme.

The portal was introduced by the Minister for Business and Industry and Defence Growth Partnership Co-Chair Nadhim Zahawi, and Industry Co-Chair of the DGP, Andrew Cowdery.

Skilled workforce essential for international stage

Cowdery underlined the importance of developing digital skills in the UK defence sector and the wider UK economy. He said:

“The UK defence sector has a heritage of developing cutting edge technology and a digitally skilled workforce will continue this tradition and support UK prosperity. The Defence Growth Partnership brings together companies across the sector to collaborate in finding solutions which benefit the sector and UK industry as a whole and a digitally skilled workforce is essential to allow us to compete and win on the international stage.”

The UK defence sector depends on a highly-skilled, educated and flexible workforce, capable of innovating, designing, developing and supporting technically complex systems and advanced manufacturing processes.

Framework designed to upskill and reskill sector

The framework, developed by the DGP Skills Group, is designed to upskill and reskill the sector’s UK workforce to help address specific skills gaps, skills shortages and emergent skills needs.

It will initially be open to all DGP member company employees and to a selection of SME and mid-tier companies in the defence sector supply chain, with the intent of making it available to the wider supply chain following the proof of concept phase.

Modules will be created by tech companies and academia

Bringing together learning material from across its membership and leading technology companies and academia, the DDSF website provides users with learning material and modules covering:

  • Digital Technology and Applications
  • Digital Creativity
  • Computer Security Software
  • Predictive Analytics
  • Managing in a digital environment
  • Modular content can be accessed at any time

Speaking at the launch, DGP Skills Lead, Lynda McVay from Leonardo, highlighted how employees from the DGP membership being fully versed in digital skills would help ensure the future growth and transformation of the sector. McVay said: “Working in collaboration, the DGP has developed a digital skills framework, an innovative way to raise the capability of the sector overall, by means of modular content which can be accessed at a time and pace to suit the digital journey of the learner and the employer.”

“The launch phase has been designed to validate the need and to evaluate the portal against the current and future demand with user feedback informing the next stage of the portal’s development. In future, it is expected to be made available to the entire defence supply chain. This maintains the UK’s pre-eminence in state of the art defence technology.”
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