BCS responds to new research highlighting digital skills gap

LONDON (22 March 2021) — Today WorldSkills UK, published a new report into the UK's digital skills market: 'Disconnected: Exploring the digital skills gap'.


The research, carried out with the Learning and Work Institute and Enginuity, shows that 60% of businesses believe their reliance on advanced digital skills will increase over the next five years.


Yet under half of UK employers (48%) believe that young people are leaving full-time education with sufficient advanced digital skills.


Julia Adamson, Director of Education at BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT said:


'It is vital that digital skills training and education keeps pace with the demand from employers and the needs of young people.


'As the professional body for the IT industry, we're closing this gap - through our own qualifications and our work with the National Centre for Computing Education (NCCE).


'Overall entries for A-level computer science rose last year, up by 12% in 2019, while a record number of students were also placed on Computer Science degree courses through UCAS.


'Over 20,000 people have now started BCS digital apprenticeships, broadening the pipeline of tech talent ready for the workforce and supporting the UK's economic and social renewal, post COVID-19.


'And now, following approval by Ofqual, we've launched our Essential Digital Skills for Work (EDSQ) qualifications, which are there to help adults with little or no experience of tech, to get to where they need to be.


'There is much more to be done, particularly as far too few women and girls are currently choosing digital skills and computer science courses.


'That's why the NCCE is leading 'gender balance in computing' research to understand which interventions may be most effective in school to change this under-representation.


'If properly supported by government, as with the coming Help to Grow scheme, and if promoted to a diverse range of people, digital skills will be the engine driving the UK's recovery.'