Webinar: Delivering Digital Skills To Drive Economic Recovery - A cross-sector perspective

Please apply now to secure your spot on this live webinar. Sign up as usual using your WIG account, instructions to join confirming your place will be sent out a week ahead of the session. WIG members are guaranteed a place by applying to attend.

A recent Microsoft UK report revealed that the UK’s digital skills gap could pose a risk to economic recovery following COVID-19. WIG is delighted to invite you to hear from an expert cross-sector panel, who will explore how the sectors can work together to meet the needs of employers and to address the digital skills shortages across the nation.

By tuning in live you will:

  • Hear how the advancement of digital skills can help with the UK’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Gain insight into programmes from across the sectors that can support the upskilling and reskilling of the UK workforce
  • Have the opporunity to ask your questions to the panel in a live Q&A
  • Blake Bower

    Director of Digital and Technology Policy

    Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

    Blake Bower is Director of Digital and Technology Policy at the UK Department for Digital Culture Media and Sport. In this role Blake has wide ranging responsibilities including the development and delivery of the UK's Digital Strategy, the regulation of digital markets, the government's relationship with the tech sector, digital inclusion policy; and takes responsibility for the Office for Artificial Intelligence. Before joining DCMS Blake was Director of Trade and Investment (Goods) at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy playing a key role in the delivery of trade deals between the UK and the rest of the world. With more than 10 years experience in government he has held roles covering a wide range of policy areas such as European Strategy, International Climate Change, Electricity Market Reform and Identity. He has also been Board Secretary and head of planning, performance and governance at the Ministry of Justice.

    Prior to joining the Civil Service, Blake's career included roles in both the private and third sectors focused on business responsibility and sustainable development. He holds degrees in Biological Sciences and in Environmental Technology as well as an MBA from the University of Warwick.

  • Dr Ellen Helsper

    Professor of Socio-Digital Inequalities

    London School of Economics and Political Science

    Dr Ellen Helsper is Professor of Socio-Digital Inequalities in the Media and Communications Department at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). Her research interests include the links between social and digital inequalities; vulnerability and discrimination in digital spaces; digital literacy; mediated communication and interpersonal relationships; and methodological innovation in quantitative and qualitative media and communications research. Her work is truly global in nature through her involvement in the YSkills; From Digital Skills to Tangible Outcomes; Global Kids Online; Connected Communities and Inclusive Growth; Communication crisis: Media Representations of COVID 19 Inequalities and World Internet research projects. She has a PhD in Media and Communications from the LSE and an MSc in Media Psychology from Utrecht University. Ellen holds and has held Visiting Scholar positions at universities and research institutes in Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and the USA. She consults widely for governments, the third and commercial sector on issues to do with client and citizen (dis)engagement in increasingly digital societies. Organisations that she has worked with include the BBC, European Commission, GMSA, ITU, OECD, UN and UNESCO. She worked in commercial market and audience research in Europe, Latin America and the US.

  • Emma Roberts

    Head of External Affairs

    WorldSkills UK

    Emma joined WorldSkills UK in 2018 to lead the research and thought leadership events programme, exploring ways to use WorldSkills UK’s competition experience to mainstream excellence in UK skills systems and is now Head of External Affairs. Previously Emma worked at the CBI for 12 years, leading policy development in a range of areas such as climate change, enterprise and creative industries. Emma led a project on how to boost medium-sized businesses which led to key changes in Government policy and authored the CBI’s input to the industrial strategy in 2017, after consulting hundreds of firms throughout the UK. Emma also held the role of Chief of Staff working closely with the Director General and President. Prior to the CBI Emma worked in policy development at Universities UK.

  • Damien Shevlin

    Senior Vice President for Human Resources, Northern Europe


    Damien is the Senior Vice President for Human Resources, Northern Europe. He leads a team of over 150 HR professionals and is a member the Atos Northern Europe, UK&I and the HR Global Executive Leadership Teams. Damien and his team work with the business to set the people agenda, shaping the people strategy to support the business in achieving its goals. His role is to anticipate people trends, to ensure Atos attracts and retains the best diverse talent, continue to improve inclusivity and diversity across Atos, continue to improve people engagement, improve productivity and support the delivery of an excellent service its customers. He is the Executive sponsor for a number of key customer accounts and relationships, the Antz Mentoring Programme, Mental Health Awareness Programme and Leading in the Digital Age Leadership Development Programme. He also has significant senior leadership experience, leading through organisational transformation, change and growth. Damien has significant experience across HR and the business, with a background in the Finance Sector, Public Sector and IT Services sector.   Damien has a wife and two young children and works hard to balance time with them, his passion for participating in and following sport, and his commitment to Atos.


Click here to view the WIG Report: Enhancing Cross-Sector Collaboration: Digital Skills in the UK.

By signing up you will be sent a recording of the presentation portion of the webinar after the event, in order to participate in the Q&A please join us live on the day.

If you have any problems in accessing the event when sent your joining email please let us know at [email protected], or consider using an alternative device.


Other WIG opportunities that may interest you

Webinar: Green Skills: Preparing the UK for a low-carbon economy

Thursday 17 June 2021, 14:00 – 15:30