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One year of Data Skills Credits: Funding scheme success

Data Skills Credits: Funding scheme

Launched in November 2020, Data Skills Credits offer adult learners in Edinburgh and South East Scotland the opportunity to upskill with a range of training providers who offer data short courses, with the aim of improving data literacy across the region and enhancing the local labour market. One year on, we are very proud to have funded 150 individuals to upskill with grants totalling £60k.

Digitalisation and automation have changed the way businesses work and increased the types and quantities of data they accumulate. This makes data literacy skills – the ability to read, work with, analyse, and communicate with data, among the most critical for job hunters and those looking to advance in their career.

Our Data Skills Credits scheme provides £500 funding towards training courses in coding, data analytics, data visualisation and more, with providers such as CodeClan, Code Division, the Institute of Data & Marketing and the University of Edinburgh offering learners free or discounted access to their courses. But the numbers wouldn’t mean anything without the results they represent. Just like our work only starts at providing funding, the true impact of workshops still carries on months after the last lesson.

“The course gave me a solid foundation to continue my learning and has provided me with loads of examples to look back on. It’s also given me examples of my work to show to potential employers. The final project gave me some freedom to explore women in tech datasets and apply what I learnt during the early stages of the course to gain insights from the data,” said a Data Skills Credit recipient who took a course with Code Division.

 

With the eligibility criteria designed to reach people unemployed or in jobs vulnerable to automation, and those disadvantaged due to different factors (details on our website), we’re aiming at making meaningful change in people’s lives as well as in Scotland’s labour market.

“Data Skills Credits is a brilliant thing to help people, get a specific job, change career etc. They paid £500 for me towards my Python course, and I paid the extra £100. I would never have been able to afford this course as I am currently unemployed,” said a learner who completed their training with CodeClan in August.

 

Student statements highlighting the success of the scheme

While immediate evaluation is rewarding and educational, the long term feedback lets us record meaningful changes that happened for our recipients since they completed their courses. And with programme’s first birthday this month, we’ve been able to collect some wonderful statements and numbers that show direct results six months after participating in our programme.

So far, over half of people who completed our six-month feedback, stated that they either entered a new full time job or a new data role since receiving Data Skills Credits funding, for example, “Started working as a statistician” or “Have been successful in getting through to next stage of interview process for a role with greater data element than current job.”

For others, a funding award is a stepping stone to further education and upskilling: “I was unemployed when I applied. The course showed me that I am still able to learn new skills. Now, I started my MSc Data Science degree. Thanks very much.”

 

These outcomes are the best testament to the programme’s continuous work in supporting Scotland’s workforce and opening up new opportunities for those interested in developing their data skills.

Click here to learn more or apply for our currently open Individual Fund (application close 6th December).

The Data Skills Credits scheme is run by Data Skills for Work at The Data Lab, the funding comes from the Edinburgh & South East Scotland City Region Deal via the Data Driven Innovation Skills Gateway.

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