Creating a digital Wales — skills and capability

In our discovery phase last year we heard that there can be a lack of understanding of what ‘digital’ means, that not all senior leaders understand how to implement digital transformation and that many public sector staff are keen to get involved, but are actively seeking help and guidance.

Over the last 9 months many of us working in public service delivery in Wales have seen a significant shift in how and where we work, and how we deliver services. Digital has been a key enabler to this and allowed us to react and respond at a pace that has been surprising and celebrated. But this doesn’t mean that the change has come easily. For some people it has been a challenge to work in new ways on new platforms. For some it has been a case of shifting old ways of working and trying to replicate them on a digital landscape. For others it has been even harder and has exposed the gap between those who are digitally literate and those who are not, and those who are able to access digital infrastructure and those who cannot.

We now have an opportunity to look at these experiences and understand what support we should make available to those delivering public services in Wales to give them the skills and knowledge not just to do their jobs as they have always done, but to adapt and improve the way they deliver public services.

Our digital squad is already starting to do this in the local authorities we are working with, sharing knowledge with the teams, learning from each other, collaborating and passing skills on. But this is only one piece of the jigsaw. We need to really understand the changes needed and how CDPS can support those working on public facing services.

This third workstream in our alpha phase is looking at how we can support development of deeply skilled teams in public service delivery organisations across Wales. We want to understand how we can establish strong digital professions based on a Digital, Data and Technology (DDaT) capability framework, and ensure that our public sector colleagues have clear development paths. We will also test a digital leadership programme aimed at senior leaders from a cross section of the devolved Welsh public sector, to develop their understanding and skills to make the most of digital. We will test delivery of a coherent digital skills programme; the curriculum; and the latest learning platforms to 100 public sector staff, to identify what digital skills training should be rolled out.

We’ve already started our user research and will be sharing those findings soon, but if you work in an organisation delivering public services in Wales and would like to share your experiences and needs then please do get in touch info@digitalpublicservices.gov.wales