Cheshire West and Chester Council achieves success with Data Skills Academy

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Cheshire West and Chester Council launched a Data Skills Academy in 2022 to invest in employees across the council and enhance its use of data to better support residents and drive transformation in services.

Over 70 members of staff have enrolled on the programme to date, with a fourth cohort about to launch in March. Training is delivered through professional apprenticeships by tech start-up Multiverse and funded through the Government’s Apprenticeship levy.

Employees are enrolled on one of three data apprenticeships, including up to degree-level.

  1. The 13-month Data Literacy programme covers the core technical skills required to transform data into insights, as well as softer skills like building narratives and presenting findings.
  2. The 15-month Data Fellowship course will give apprentices the skills to clean, analyse and model data, and tell data stories to non-specialists.
  3. The degree-level Advanced Data Fellowship will empower apprentices to develop their skills in data analysis and data science, studying areas like statistical testing, data ethics, predictive modelling and data security.

Research by the UK Government has found that almost a quarter of employees use advanced data skills in their work, yet a shortage of skills in this area is estimated to cost UK businesses £2bn a year.

New data skills are unlocking valuable insights about the needs of residents and communities, enabling the Council to deliver focused digital and transformation programmes. Services are benefiting from a saving in staff time on data management tasks and the Council is seeing wider impact from the creation of the new, Council-wide Data Hive network, supported from the central data hub.

Simon Riley, the Council’s Chief Operating Officer said: “A key focus for us across the Council is to use data and insight to inform strategic decision making. Accurate and up to date data has never been more important for us and accessing the right tools, technology and trained staff to make the most of that data is essential.”

Multiverse delivers world-class training in a wide range of qualifications in tech, data, and engineering. Apprentices benefit from one-to-one coaching with an industry expert and are supported by a thriving community with events, socials, mentoring and leadership programmes.

Peppa Wise, Vice President of Go to Market at Multiverse, said: "Working efficiently with data is absolutely vital for all organisations - and for local authorities it's essential for delivering high quality services to residents. Cheshire West and Chester Council is expanding its skills in this space through its Data Academy. Apprentices benefit from Multiverse’s intensive coaching and applied learning, to develop rich skills in the most high-demand areas that will serve them for their career."

Team Multiverse

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