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BCS and the Tech Partnership unite to support the UK’s digital skills agenda

Tech Partnership LogoResearch suggests that it could cost £2bn each year if the UK fails to find 750,000 skilled digital workers by 2017*. With this in mind, BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, and the Tech Partnership, the network of employers collaborating to create the skills for the digital economy, have signed a memorandum of understanding which will see them working together to support the UK’s digital skills agenda.


Paul Fletcher, Group CEO of the Institute explains: “If the UK economy is going to compete long into the future then we need a collaborative, multi-faceted approach to improving digital skills. Working together, BCS and the Tech Partnership can provide the services, tools and schemes that support both employers and professionals. Technology is developing rapidly and both IT professionals and those who employ them need to keep pace with it, and understand what skills their business may need in the future.”


The understanding will see BCS and the Tech Partnership work together as trusted associates across a range of initiatives that address significant gaps in skills development. There will be a single, shared approach to developing and accrediting education programmes in schools and universities; and at all levels there will be a commitment to improve gender and age disparities.


For active professionals, plans are underway to create and support a global industry framework for IT skills, and to grow the use of accreditation and certification. Professional development and career planning resources will be provided for the individual, and organisations helping them to plan and understand their IT skills requirements. By engaging with stakeholders in industry, government and academia, hubs will be created for organisations to share skills intelligence, information and ideas.


"Success with technology is all about people and skills," says Phil Smith, CEO UK and Ireland, Cisco and Chair of the Tech Partnership, welcoming the development. "A unified, globally-relevant framework of skills standards will help employers to manage skills effectively, and help the sector and the individuals in it fulfil their potential."


Karen Price, CEO of the Tech Partnership, adds: “Employers are committed to working together as the Tech Partnership to ensure that IT sector and profession can flourish. Investing in skills and training is key to this, and to UK economic growth. Through our collaboration with BCS, professional abilities can be recognised at every level, from apprentice to the most senior manager, and employers can share market intelligence, opinion and best practice.” 


Paul concludes: “It’s vital that we increase the investment in IT skills development in the UK if we are going to meet the skills requirement of the future. However, this isn’t an issue unique to the UK, and as a profession, it’s important that we enable our workforces across the globe to have the skills required for the 21 and 22 centuries.”


*Study carried out by O2 in 2013

The Tech Partnership is a growing network of employers, collaborating to create the skills to accelerate the growth of the digital economy. It is recognised by government as the Industrial Partnership for the digital economy. It acts for the good of the sector by inspiring young people about technology, accelerating the flow of talented people of all backgrounds into technology careers, and helping companies to develop the technology skills they need for the future.