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Tuesday, 28 February 2012

ICT Skills Plan

I was invited to a workshop in the Scottish Enterprise offices in Edinburgh today about the ICT Skills Plan for Scotland.

The Scottish Government created an ICT Industry Strategy for Scotland in 2010, and part of this was a Skills Plan. It recently commissioned a company to update that plan. As a result, there will be an updated ICT Skills Plan, and part of the process of creating the new plan is a number of workshops, when the Plan's creators will meet various organisations that effect ICT skills in Scotland. Today's meeting had representatives of the private sector (such as BT and Skyscanner), and public sector organisations (such as SQA).

There was a lot of discussion around Computing in schools. There was general agreement that young people (and especially girls) don't appreciate the range of exciting, well paid jobs in the IT industry, and also general misunderstanding about the meaning of words such as and "IT" and "ICT". It was recognised that initiatives such as the Curriculum for Excellence and the HN Review would address some of the weaknesses of the current curriculum in schools and colleges.

I always enjoy listening to practitioners. I learnt from the industry representatives about current job shortages (which include software testers and computer forensics/security specialists), and I hope I made a contribution to what schools and colleges can do to help.

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