Is the UK able to compete with its counterparts across the globe when it comes to Tech skills? This is the question that will be posed to leading firms and more as part of the House of Lord’s newly-created Digital Skills Committee.
Formed last month, the Committee will today, (July 22nd), look to Tech firms such as Google and Microsoft to discover the breadth and level of technical skills that the UK’s most prominent Tech businesses, and their workforce, have to offer.
Two evidence-giving sessions take place at the House of Lords today ahead of the September 4th publication of a report by the Committee, with prominent figures asked to share their views on the UK’s Tech scene.
The sessions will touch on issues including how to prepare workers for a “knowledge-driven economy”, how to address inequality within the UK workforce and the implications of advances in technology including Big Data.
Representatives from the University of Oxford, the government-backed Technology Strategy Board, and the Science and Technology Facilities Council will be in attendance at the first session. The second session will play host to Hugh Milward, Director of Corporate Affairs at Microsoft, an unspecified representative of Google, and Chris Mairs CBE, Chair of the UK Forum for Computing Education.
A Committee statement, released at the time of its launch states: “The investigation will explore how the UK can be prepared to compete in a global digital economy, examining issues such as whether we’re developing a workforce that is appropriately skilled for the future in jobs that may not yet exist, and how we are encouraging people of all ages to choose careers which will benefit the future digital era.”
Shining a light on UK’s technical capabilities
Commenting on the Committee’s forthcoming report, Baroness Sally Morgan of Huyton, who is responsible for managing the committee’s activities, argued that the inquiry should help to shine a light on how the UK can keep pace with technological innovations.
“This will involve looking at the range of skills we are teaching our students and graduates, comparing whether what we teach them matches the rapidly growing and anticipated number of ICT vacancies, and looking at making sure we have the infrastructure to support the digital environment of the future,” she said.
“I believe it’s going to be crucial for the UK to create a workforce that is skilled enough to stay ahead globally, particularly in terms of digital skills. I hope that this inquiry will shine a light on whether or not the UK sits at the top of the class or whether it must try harder,” she continued.
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