Digital skills shortages go much wider than "just" IT

I am indebted to David Pitcher for an advance sight of the material he plans to present to MPs at the event on the 9th July to recruit “Digital Ambassadors” to help get the skills and jobs of the future for their constituencies.

It illustrates just how much is being done to turn FE Colleges into learning hubs helping employers, large and small, develop the skills of the future locally with no need to offshore tasks along uncertain supply chains to locations with no protection for IPR or Data, or to import “skilled consultants” whose qualifications may be worth little more than the paper they are not printed on,  even if you knew how to check them).

The main report on “Colleges and Employers working together to to create a highly skills workforce ” can be found on the Association of Colleges Website.

Computer Weekly readers looking for digital skills within a creative context should read the report and then follow the links within David’s paper (see below) before calling a recruitment consultant. They would then do well to call one of those who helps identify and recruit potential apprentices (of all ages), because they are increasingly unlikely to find the mix of skills they are seeking on the open market, let alone at an affordable price.

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“A strong and growing economy is in all of our interests, and colleges play a central role in sustaining the recovery – they are the skills powerhouses that drive the local and national economy. Further education colleges across England make sure future workers have the skills employers require, and provide young people with the education and training they need to succeed.

Some of Britain’s most respected companies, such as Mulberry, BAE Systems and the Met Office, want their staff to have appropriate skills and work with colleges to ensure this. This is achieved in two ways – through designing qualifications specifically for the employer and through businesses working with colleges to inspire students. This relationship boosts aspirations, highlights the importance of employability skills and promotes the different roles available in a range of industries.

For smaller employers the Creative Industry has addressed the skills gap in the industry during the last five years through an established network of FE and education partners delivering apprenticeships where there are local skills gaps.

Creative and Cultural Skills promotes and drives industry skills and employment needs to its founder college network (46 providers) and also engages smaller SME’s (which is most of the industry) in training,  development and partnership with colleges. It has a multitude of success stories with regard to improving Industry/education links in order to make a difference

Two new Apprenticeship frameworks at Level 3 and 4 developed via a consortium of eight FE colleges have now been running for a year. The aim of the frameworks is twofold; first to enable students to understand instructional design in an education context, supporting FE to develop its own digital capability and deliver FELTAG targets for online learning and second to develop local skills hubs to supply digital capability to small businesses.

There are currently ten colleges across the UK delivering Design e-Learn

The Education Foundation‘s report, “Digital Colleges- The Journey So Far” was an outcome of research across the FE sector identifying the current state of whole college digital resource, infrastructure and teaching and learning. The Education Foundation in partnership with Digital Business Britain, IBM and the Association of Colleges (AoC) launched the new report on the future of the digital agenda within the Further education and skills (FES) sector.”

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