A NEW Digital Charter combining expertise from industry and academia aims to reverse a potentially critical decline in computer literacy in Scotland.
The new Digital Technology Education Charter has so far attracted over 60 organizations of the caliber of Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan and the University of Glasgow in an attempt to attract more young people to learning digital skills . Inspiration comes from computer science teacher Toni Scallion, who sees firsthand how the subject slips out of the curriculum.
“There are an average of 13,000 new digital jobs created in Scotland each year, but through apprenticeships and graduates we are only training around 5,000 to fill them,” she said.
“Inspiring students from an early age is essential to fill this skills gap. Not all schools even teach computers anymore. For a sector that increasingly affects all aspects of daily life, this is completely crazy.
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“It has been a role model for at least the last decade and we must act now, otherwise the subject, and the vast employment opportunities in which it provides a basis, will be lost for a generation.”
As employment opportunities increase in this subject, the number of teachers and the number of students studying the subject are decreasing.
In 2008, there were 766 computer science teachers teaching 25,000 students, by 2020 this figure had fallen to 595 teachers teaching fewer than 10,000 students, including less than 2,000 women. Research by tech industry body ScotlandIS suggests that 75% of employers are already struggling to recruit qualified digital staff.
“There is an outdated perception and a general lack of awareness of the opportunities offered by technology that prevent talented people from exploring and ultimately building successful careers in the industry,” said Eve Wallace, Director Technology Executive at Morgan Stanley.
She added: “Through this charter, Morgan Stanley is delighted to be part of an initiative that promotes a partnership between industry and education, helping to harness and develop the exceptional young talent we have in Scotland. and, hopefully, to educate current and future people. generations the opportunities available to them in the digital sector.