techUK Calls for National Digital Skills Map to stop the UK Falling Behind
New paper warns that a fragmented approach to digital skills policy could ‘stunt growth’.
In a new paper launched recently, techUK has called for the development of a comprehensive map of the digital skills pipeline. In 'We're just not doing enough - Working together to meet the digital skills challenge', the UK's leading tech trade association warns against a fragmented approach to overcoming the skills gap, and outlines 11 recommendations to ensure future success.
Charlotte Holloway, Head of Policy at techUK said: "Digital technologies will be at the heart of growth and jobs creation in the next five years. To realise the potential of tech in the UK we must work together with government to overcome the skills gap which threatens to stunt growth in the tech industry and beyond. With recent estimates suggesting the UK is already losing a potential £2bn per year from unfilled roles requiring digital skills, the scale of the gap over the next decade cannot be underestimated. We must accelerate efforts to secure the UK's position as a world leading digital economy."
The paper highlights a number of positive initiatives, including the Tech Partnership and the new National College for Digital Skills, already underway across the UK, but calls on the Government's Digital Economy Unit to undertake a dynamic mapping exercise on the likely impact of these initiatives on the digital capabilities of those entering the workforce to 2020 and beyond.
Holloway continued: "At present, skills initiatives risk fragmentation, resulting in gaps and overlap. By mapping the likely impact digital skills initiatives, we can look seriously at 'what works' for industry needs in a world-leading digital economy. Government and wider players can then use those insights to demonstrate where more may still need to be done, whether that be to boost the computing curriculum or where a 'smart immigration' approach is needed to address the most pronounced shortages."
Initiatives like the recently introduced Computing Curriculum are key to inspiring excitement about technology from a young age, but techUK has previously expressed concerns that teachers do not have the skills or resources to teach the curriculum effectively. 'We're Just Not Doing Enough' recommends the Department for Education and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills should jointly carry out an assessment of successes and challenges in the implementation of the computing curriculum, and its impact on growing the pipeline of digital talent in the UK.
Holloway concluded: "If we don't measure and build on success, there is a risk these welcome efforts are going to waste."
Following the Government's ambitions to create three million new apprenticeships, the paper recommends close dialogue between industry and government to ensure young people are trained in jobs for the future. Digital skills will be crucial to the vast majority of roles in the years to come, and must be at the heart of the government's strategy to both increase the number of high skilled workers and drive productivity right across the economy.
Andy Griffiths, President Samsung UK and Ireland, said: "Samsung was delighted to have the opportunity to contribute to this report, which sets out clear recommendation to both Government and industry on how we can work together to address the digital skills gap in the UK. This is becoming increasingly important as our world becomes ever more connected, with future careers, either directly within the growing technology centre or outside it, increasingly requiring digital skills.
"At Samsung, we want to inspire learning and innovation. We recognise that the delivery of STEM subjects is hugely important for the UK's future and we want to encourage young people to combine technical knowledge and skills with the creativity and confidence that leads to the most innovative and successful ideas. We believe this will give our young people the skills they need to thrive in the modern world."
techUK supports eSkills for Jobs 2015. The campaign aims to raise awareness of the need for citizens to improve their command of information and communication technology (ICT) skills for work.
Latest News from
World Environment Day05/06/2020 16:25:00
techUK marks World Environment Day with a series of blogs and insights.
Trade Credit Insurance backed by £10 billion guarantee05/06/2020 11:25:00
Trade credit insurance to be maintained across the market in light of COVID-19, with up to £10 billion government backing.
Cyber Regiment launched as part of modernisation of the Armed Forces05/06/2020 09:33:00
Defence Secretary, Ben Wallace, has announced a new cyber regiment to protect frontline operations from digital attacks.
The Digital Services Act: Consultation now open!04/06/2020 16:25:00
The European Commission launched the consultation for the Digital Services Act earlier this week.
techUK and global partners issue recommendations for G20 governments04/06/2020 14:15:00
techUK, along with other leading international tech and business trade associations, have outlined priorities for promoting innovation, digital technologies and trade.
CDBB publishes a pathway towards an information management framework03/06/2020 11:25:00
The CDBB has launched an open consultation on their IMF pathway, which runs until 31 August 2020 #DigitalTwinFuture.
Chancellor outlines future of the job retention scheme02/06/2020 11:25:00
Increased flexibility for the JRS and extending protection for the self-employed announced by the Chancellor.
#ConnectandProtect: Spotlight on digital inclusion and accessibility02/06/2020 09:33:00
techUK brings you a month full of events looking at digital inclusion and accessibility in the public sector.
New funding for Defence Innovation Priorities01/06/2020 10:05:00
£1m of Defence Innovation funding has been set aside for civil sector support for the Ministry of Defence's (MOD) innovation priorities.
techUK welcomes you to the Cloud computing campaign week01/06/2020 09:05:00
On Monday 15th June, techUK will launch this year’s Cloud Campaign Week. Throughout the week we will be bringing you immersive news, views and insights from experts in the technology sector on how UK organisations can realise the full potential of cloud services, the steps that need to be taken to drive the market forward and the lessons that can be learned.