Digitalising Kent: Capturing Insights From SMEs On Their Digital Transformation Journeys

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Local Skills Improvement Plan
by Lucy Druesne

As part of their ongoing project with EKC Group, North Kent College and MidKent College, HSSMI are collecting industry perspectives on how further education institutes can support UK SMEs to overcome critical skills gaps as they begin to leverage digital technologies to create new capabilities and benefits.

To facilitate this, they have put a survey together that will take no longer than 10 minutes to complete. The purpose of this survey is to capture insights from SMEs in Kent on how the move towards ‘digitialisation’ is impacting their business. Specifically, we are seeking to capture information on: what new capabilities SMEs are looking to unlock through digital technologies, what specific technologies they are considering, and what skills gaps this is exposing.

This forms part of a Department for Education Strategic Development Fund project secured by the Colleges in Kent & Medway (East Kent College Group, North Kent College and MidKent College) that builds on the digitalisation skills need identified in the Trailblazer LSIP. It ultimately seeks to answer how the colleges can support businesses to overcome skills gaps for current employees and the next generation of talent through the provision of certain training programs, courses, engagement or support.

HSSMI have tried to keep jargonistic and technical terms to a minimum. To give you guidance, the definition we are using for ‘Digitalisation’ is: “The integration of digital based technologies and platforms that connect up the product, people, plant, business and supply chain together, to create intelligent and proactive systems that create value for the organisation”

The results will ultimately feed into the development of next generation curricula and enhanced college services, so your participation is sincerely appreciated and will go on to generate huge value.