More Digital Apprenticeships Needed According To Government
According to the Commons Science and Technology Committee, digital Apprenticeships offer game-changing potential but action needs to be taken to tackle the emerging digital skills gap. The committee stated that up to 12.6 million adults are lacking basic digital skills, with an estimated 5.8 million having never used the internet at all. Digital Apprenticeships were flagged up by the committee as being critical for offering long-term potential. They said “only the computing curriculum and widespread take-up of digital Apprenticeships offer game-changing potential, and their impact may not be evident for a generation.”
The scale of the digital skills gap has become far more noticeable recently. The UK needs approximately 745,000 additional workers who have digital skills by 2017, and the Government had been able to recruit just 70% of the computer science teachers it needed. It is commonly accepted that digital skills should be one of the key components alongside maths and English in all apprenticeships, not just digital Apprenticeships, which is why it has become the focus of the government’s three million Apprenticeships target.
The Committee said “this will help to ensure the long-term future of the UK’s economy, as would simplifying the Apprenticeship scheme’s processes to encourage SMEs to invest in them. The qualifying requirements for the new IT roles should be reviewed, making it easier and more flexible for employers to recruit the best talent globally.”
Committee Chairwoman Nicola Blackwood added “The UK leads Europe on tech, but we need to take concerted action to avoid falling behind. We need to make sure tomorrow’s workforce is leaving school or university with the digital skills that employers need.”