Coding the kids, technology and technicians

In an increasingly technology dependent world we are facing a deficit of technically skilled workers. However, the UK government are one of the first in Europe to take steps to address this issue.

black screen showing colourful codeIn an increasingly technology dependent world we are facing a deficit of technically skilled workers. This rings particularly true with a large number of digital roles throughout Europe, and even in the US.

Late last year the UK Government took its first steps in addressing this issue, by adding coding to its existing ICT curriculum. From the age of 5, children will be taught basic programming skills such as algorithms and how to debug a simple program. This will help to develop their logical reasoning skills. In turn, by the time they leave secondary education, teenagers will be expected to know how to create their own programs, and will have experience using Boolean logic, and working with coding essentials such as binary numbers. The initiative has been praised by members of the digital community in favour of the notion of educating the next generation, such as Zach Sims (Codecademy’s chief executive) as it should solve problems such as the IT skills gap and the gender divide in technology.

The shortfall of technically skilled workers has also been addressed by Neelie Kroes, the European Union’s Digital Agenda Commissioner. Kroes seeks to address how to get the ‘European workforce’ skilled enough in order to take part in the future digital economy. She also strives to keep the door open to both men and women not only in technology employment but also within the educational avenues that lead into these career paths. Kroes believes that the solution to both of these issues lies in a focus at grassroots level, encouraging young people to get involved in technology.

The UK has been praised in this regard for taking the initiative and introducing coding as a part of compulsory national curriculum for children as young as five. As a result of the merits of this approach, there is discussion of other EU countries following suit. The aforementioned long-term plan to tackle the current shortage of skilled technical workers has been greeted with a degree of cynicism from some, but praised by the majority. Although we won’t know the true impact for years to come, it is a demonstrable attempt to resolve the current deficit of technical workers, a step welcomed by those within the technology sector.

Grovelands welcomes any thoughts or comments on the above material, particularly from those directly involved in the current struggle for technical workers.

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