DCMS Consultation to put Computer Programming alongside Music and the Performing Arts

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Further to my acid blog on the motivation behind the consultation to change the SIC Codes rlated to ICT to transfer computer consultancy and programming to sit alongside music and the performing arts, my personal responses are below. Others may chose to be less constrained and describe it as a proposal to step back forty years with regards to professionalism. I would, however, say that Skillset and NESTA are rather good at what they do and some of the new courses to develop the skills for the computer games industry are excellent. Nonetheless changing funding boundaries, as opposed to improving co-operation across them, never did any good.

Consultation issue 1: What are your views of using the Creative Industries methodology to underpin the DCMS Creative Industries classification?

The methodology could be used to include the whole of invention and product design and development across traditional industry. The consequent inclusion of Computer Programming and Consultancy within the Creative as opposed to Engineering Industries is nonsense. It includes, for example, those who design the software control systems for power plants (often using the some disciplines as for computer games) while excluding those who design the chipsets used. In fact they often work in symbiotic teams.

It would be helpful to explicitly exclude from the definition those roles and industries which depend on extensive product testing and on engineering disciplines and not just individual creativity.

Consultation issue 2: What are your views of the list of Creative Occupations as defined in figure 1 of the consultation document? Are there occupations which have been included which you think should not be? Are there occupations which have not been included which you think should be? What evidence do you have (if any) to support your view on inclusions or exclusions?

 IT Business Analysts, Programmers and Web designers should be excluded because in modern system development environments, with hybrid skills and incremental change becoming increasingly common, the individuals concerned  cannot be readily distinguished from those operating and using the systems.

More-over the design and testing disciplines involved mean that the roles are very much more akin to engineering than the definition of creativity used in the methodology   


IT business analysts, architects and systems designers




Programmers and software development professionals




Web design and development professionals




Consultation issue 3: What are your views of the list of sectors as defined in figure 2 of the consultation document? Are there sectors which have been included which you think should not be? Are there sectors which have not been included which you think should be? What evidence do you have (if any) to support your view on inclusions or exclusions?

Computer Programming and consultancy should be excluded because they depend more on systems engineering disciplines teamwork and testing than on individual creativity. 


Computer programming activities





Computer consultancy activities





Consultation issue 4: What are your views of the list of groupings as shown in figure 3 of the consultation document? Are there other groupings which you think would be preferable, given the SIC codes available to match together in these groupings?

IT, software and computer services should be excluded because they fit better with Engineering than with the Creative  industries

IT, software and computer services





Computer programming activities





Computer consultancy activities




Consultation issue 5: Do the SIC and SOC codes adequately and accurately capture the full range of economic activity within the creative industries. If not, how would you better define the SIC and SOC codes?

The inclusion of  computer programming and consultancy extends the definition of creative industries well beyond those which depend on individual creativity and where Skillset, NESTA and DCMS have relevant expertise and experience.

Consultation issue 6: What indicators do you find to be of value in your work? Do you collect data against these indicators on a regular basis and, if so, how do you do so?

I tracked employment and demand for IT related skills to provide advice and  guidance for employers from 1982 until e-Skills set up its own monitoring operations.

The SIC Codes were of limited value save at the macro level. Changes in structure gave me serious problems with regard to putting short term fluctuations into long term context.

An example of my work, which was used to help employers and also government to plan ahead for the Y2K crisis was the 1996 IT Skills Trends Report  http://www.eurim.org.uk/activities/skills/96SKILLS.pdf

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This page contains a single entry by Philip Virgo published on June 11, 2013 9:30 PM.

How often is it now more expensive on-line - except for tax avoidance? was the previous entry in this blog.

The "free market" on-line world is under attack from all directions: who wants to save what and why? is the next entry in this blog.

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