Brighton tech firms help to close digital skills gap

Eight companies from Brighton and Hove will head back to school on Tuesday (November 14), to highlight opportunities in the digital sector to students.

Monday, 13th November 2017, 5:19 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 5:17 am
Luke Gibson, Rob Verheul and Callum Stannard of Graphite

Digital Day, a national initiative to inspire students to help fill the ‘digital skills gap’, is part of a government strategy to fill 1.2m technical and digitally skilled roles needed by 2022.

Aimed at 13 to 16-year-olds, Digital Day started with a morning of presentations, followed by a Dragons’ Den-style competition, where students competed to win £500 cash for their school.

Of the 12 companies taking part in Sussex, Surrey and Hampshire, eight are from Brighton.

Rob Verheul, managing director of Brighton digital agency Graphite Digital, said: “While at school I attended an event like Digital Day and it completely changed my outlook and career path. Now I run Graphite, a Brighton-based digital product agency working with some of the world’s largest organisations. Sometimes all it takes is for someone to take the time to show you something that they’re passionate about to spark an interest - and that’s what we’re here to do.

“Brighton is one of the UK’s top digital clusters, contributing over £744 million to the economy each year and employing over 15,000 people, so it’s fitting that we lead the way in training up the digital professionals of the future.”

Sarah Linsdell from Steyning Grammer School, where 30 students will be taking part in Digital Day, said: "We are thrilled to be taking part in Digital Day 2017 with our industry partners Graphite - how better to offer our students a wider understanding of the creative digital industries to help inform future career choices - and a bit of competitiveness makes the day great fun and helps the creative juices flow.

"We at Steyning Grammer School are all set to go and have an eye on the prizes!"

Schools taking part include: Steyning Grammar School, West Sussex; Brighton Aldridge Community Academy, Brighton; Portslade Aldridge Community Academy, Brighton; Blatchington Mill School, Brighton; Hove Park School, Hove; Brighton PRU Dyke Road, Brighton; Chalkhill Education Centre, Brighton; The Priory C of E, Dorking; Oathall Community College, Lindfield; Woking College, Woking; Bitterne Park School, Bournemouth; and Richard Taunton Sixth Form College, Southampton.

The companies getting involved are: Graphite Digital; We Are Tilt; Bozboz; Pragmatic; Neptik; Brightec; Jollywise; Tweak; NetNatives; Lab; Keeping&C; and Advantec,.