Digital skills to be made a core subject in colleges
Digital skills will be made a core subject under a new government plan. The Department of Education and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills have announced the Post-16 Skills Plan, which aims to provide young people with digital skills needed for the workplace.
Under the new plan, post-GCSE students will have the option of learning digital skills through a technical pathway or through an academic pathway.
Students who select the technical pathway will study digital skills as a core subject alongside English and maths. The technical option will equate to an apprenticeship or a two-year college course, while the academic pathway will consist of traditional A-levels
The Post-16 Skills Plan, which will be applicable to GCSE pupils sitting exams from 2019, stated that in addition to good numeracy and literacy, an “essential set of digital skills” is needed to succeed in the workplace.
The plan stated: “Beyond this, digital skills requirements should be tailored, and employer panels will be in the lead to specify digital skills which are required for entry into particular groups of skilled occupations.”
The plan comes after trade industry body TechUK warned last year that the UK was not doing enough to tackle the problem of a skills gap, predicting that it will grow to 750,000 vacancies in the tech sector by 2017.
Commenting on the plan, Fred Rayers, a member of the Digital Apprenticeship Standards Steering Group, said: “Digital skills are essential for the UK's future prosperity in the global economy. A dedicated digital pathway will give young people entering work the chance to develop the knowledge and understanding that employers need.”