New digital skills program bolsters professional skills in City of Newcastle

3 min read

New digital skills program bolsters professional skills in City of Newcastle

New digital skills program bolsters professional skills in City of Newcastle

Sydney School of Entrepreneurship (SSE) recently delivered the New Digital Skills Program (NDSP) as part of the City of Newcastle’s NewSkills initiative. The New Digital Skills Program is a customisable, self-paced, training program, designed to equip participants with the knowledge and skills to drive innovation, streamline business operations, automate relevant processes, and leverage data insights. Launched in August 2021, the New Digital Skills Program was exclusively available, and fully subsidised for residents and employees, based in Newcastle*.

SSE’s CEO, Dr Sarah Jones said:

“SSE's delivery of this Program is just one of the ways we are expanding our reach in both the regional, and major regional centres across NSW. The evolving digital world breaks down geographical barriers and removes a lot of location-based limitations. To leverage these opportunities requires a growth mindset, innovative thinking, and transferable knowledge of the latest digital tools and trends. This is where SSE can help!”

The unique program received significant levels of interest across the community, evidencing the need and value in equipping the workforce with digital skills to adapt and succeed in today’s ever-evolving business landscapes. Registrations exceeded initial targets by nearly 400%, and drew engagement and interest from a cross-section of both businesses and individuals. Participants spanned from small to medium-sized business owners, large corporation employees, sole traders, young graduates, and students entering the workforce. Industries represented by participants varied significantly; with the highest number of participants currently employed in financial and insurance services, health care and social assistance, or education and training.

Conscious of this wide target market, SSE developed the Program with in-built customisation options, allowing participants to apply the embedded experiential learning activities directly to their specific circumstances and industry interests. Practical activities were embedded throughout the modules and four facilitated workshops. The workshops introduced a range of applicable skills and knowledge, including:

  1. How to build an app in a day
  2. How to automate today and free up your schedule for tomorrow
  3. Bringing tech ideas to life
  4. How to build e-commerce solutions for your business.

New Digital Skills Program participant, Chloe Warren comments on the value of workshop learnings and elements she has already introduced in her Marketing and Engagement position at Tantrum Youth Arts:

“I’ve already changed some of our systems around and I’ve been working with our general manager to help her integrate some new tools too. Just having the fresh perspective on things was really valuable, and I’m thinking more about automation when I go about my general workflow, and I think the rest of my team has really appreciated the time-saving!”
 - Chloe Warren, NDSP Participant 2021

With digital tools continuously advancing, development of growth mindsets and entrepreneurial thinking is essential for anyone driven to succeed today, tomorrow, and in the long term. Additionally, innovative thinking and the ability to communicate your ideas across global platforms are key drivers for success amongst complex networks and ecosystems. These essential skills sit at the core of all SSE programs and are fundamental to our raison d’être.

SSE develops its programs in collaboration with industry networks and leading experts, ensuring applied and practical learning. SSE was delighted to develop the New Digital Skills Program in close collaboration with impressive innovation leaders – I2N Hub Honeysuckle, SAPHI Engineering and The Business Blocks. Through significant consultation, SSE designed the learning experience with embedded industry insights and high-demand, latest thinking, digital tools.

“From a timeline perspective, we are at the early stage of market adoption for low code and no code tools, so it is amazing to see how the participants engaged throughout the NDSP course. The mix of workshop examples and on-demand content really helped keep the attendees engaged. I am excited to see the economy opening back up and how businesses and individuals will be able to tackle 2022 with the skills and frameworks we helped develop”
 - John Elder, The Business Blocks

The NewSkills Program was initiated by the City of Newcastle in response to identified skills gaps in the local community and a desire to drive employment, economic advancement, and professional development across a diverse cohort. In today’s workplace, employers across all industry sectors, require employees to be abreast of the latest technology advancements, platforms, and available tool. The City of Newcastle’s NewSkills Program supports local businesses and all Novocastrians in acquiring and enhancing talent in emerging industries and areas of rapid change. SSE’s NDSP participant employment status reflected this mission, with the majority of those engaging in the Program either self-employed, or in full-time employment, seeking to upskill and enhance their personal and professional workplace offerings.

Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said City of Newcastle is investing in training like SSE’s New Digital Skills Program to help locals make the most of Newcastle’s emerging economic opportunities.

“City of Newcastle's suite of NewSkills training programs will assist residents and local businesses to expand their knowledge and abilities through specialist training providers, to address current and projected skills gaps and strengthen areas of rapid change," Cr Nelmes said.

"Providing opportunities for people to learn new skills is how we make businesses more competitive and encourage emerging industries, which will create more local jobs."

SSE looks forward to a continual partnership with the City of Newcastle, and supporting communities in the Region with the latest entrepreneurial knowledge and innovative thinking. It is through such collaborative efforts and initiatives that, together, we can drive positive economic impact for a more sustainable future, and global community. We have a range of current and upcoming opportunities to build your creative thinking and entrepreneurial skills.