Challenge-based learning to discover opportunities

Across Lincolnshire, 7,045 people are employed in digital jobs in both the digital and non-digital sectors. These represent 1.7% of all jobs in the region, a much lower proportion than the 4.9% employed in digital occupations across England. This under-representation of digital occupations reflects a deficit of digital skills in the region, and a high rate of technology non-adoption among local SMEs. A recent survey of SMEs in the region shows that 54% of owner managers do not feel there were enough digital workers to meet demand. Considering this challenge, the University of Lincoln is further developing and implementing a part of its Strategic Plan “UoL4.0 Challenge” as a pilot activity in COM3. The UoL4.0 Challenge is a “Challenge-Based Learning” (CBL) educational strategy to support both students and Lincolnshire businesses in the discovery of opportunities concerning the digitalisation of industry and services. Focussing on a series of events and workshops, this COM3 will improve the potential for adoption of digital technology and implementation of industry 4.0 solutions among local SMEs, thereby improving business competitiveness and productivity.