techUK calls on Cameron to do more to meet digital skills challenge

White paper recommendations include 'making tech fun in the classroom' and more apprenticeships for the tech sector

techUK has launched a white paper today which argues that the government is “not doing enough” to meet the digital skills challenge in the UK.

The paper, aptly titled We’re Just Not Doing Enough, claims that a fragmented approach to digital skills policy could stunt growth and has urged for a digital skills pipeline to be mapped out – with 11 recommendations for the government’s Digital Economy Unit.

The proposals centre on the theme that “more ambitious and better organised collaboration is needed to achieve scale in addressing the digital skills gap and supercharge UK digital talent for the benefit of all”.

The 11 recommendations are as follows:

  1. Demystify tech and inspire young people
  2. Make tech fun in the classroom
  3. Inspire girls to pursue tech subjects and careers
  4. Create the digital skills needed across all sectors
  5. Ensure schools are equipped to teach computing
  6. Support and empower teachers
  7. Create more apprenticeships in the tech sector
  8. Create new job entry tech routes into tech roles
  9. Make it easier for businesses to volunteer
  10. Ensure a digital skills strategy spread across the UK
  11. Adopt a ‘smart migration’ approach to help tech businesses secure global talent

Charlotte Holloway, head of policy at techUK, said of the white paper:“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.

“By mapping the likely impact of 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.”

Read the report in full here.

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