What are we doing about Digital Skills?
There are serious concerns over the IT skills shortage. For businesses this is not good news. A recent survey by the CBI showed that 39 per cent of firms are already struggling to recruit workers with the technical skills they need, and 41 per cent of firms believe that the shortage will persist over the next three years.
In a recent article ths BCS stated, "in the software and applications development space there is a shortage of developers, especially in the UK where the digital economy is growing exponentially" (British Computer Society) http://www.bcs.org/content/conWebDoc/51573.
So what will happen? There are many funds, innovations and schemes championed by business and the Government but it all smacks of desperation there is no central plan. In some cases each of the ideas are competing against each other to essentially achieve the same thing but end up weakening each other. They each have their own targets but not one has a target to engage with other funds, incubators or techhubs for the good of the digital sector in the UK (well that is my impression when I talk to them). They blame each other for this - saying they want to engage but there is no appetite from others or their hands are tied due to their own targets which they have to meet to continue to obtain funding.
Business NEEDS to take advantage of technology to succeed in the future, they need to start thinking of how to sustain their IT. Mentor and coach the people you have, require them to have and adhere to a CPD plan.
For the future though we need to find a better way to help the technologists of tomorrow (from the universities, education system, apprentices, etc...) find a way through consistently.
What are your thoughts on this? Are their too many conflicting schemes and funds, which is actually weakening the UKs digital progress? The interim report on the Digital Skills For Tomorrow highlights the perception of IT and careers in IT as being quite negative and damaging. The perception of being boring and repetitive.
With so many funds and incubators why don't they all contribute a small amount to a central fund expressly to change the perception of technology and technology careers - take a longer view of the game rather than just the short view.
Read the Interim Digital Skills For Tomorrow report, it has some good points and good suggestions.
What we need is a way to produce the skilled people we need - the education system can partly achieve this but I think we need to provide a more consistent pipeline to business. Take a step back and design a way forward - not just a throw mud until something sticks approach.