Clair Vyvyan, public sector director and general manager at Dell, spoke with CBR about IT skills shortage in the UK and filling this gap by educating children and young people for a future in the technology industry.
How does the UK perform globally on their supply of IT professionals?
We could do better in this sense especially because it’s IT and it’s a global industry. To be successful in IT and business in UK we need to raise the skills of IT in children. If we want the best jobs in IT in the UK it’s really important we have a highly literate technology population and it’s really important for the UK going forward.
Do schools have a responsibility now to help encourage young people to get into the technology industry?
If we want to have a strong IT industry in this country, it’s our responsibility to create a population that has the right skill set. Children come inherently interested in technology. We [Dell] always try to encourage schools to embed technology into the curriculum. We need to get them to embrace technology in everything that they do. By constantly being around technology is a way for children to embrace it as well as teachers using technology to make lessons more exciting.
Dell is quite involved in educating young people for a future in the technology field with initiatives like Dell Youth Connect and sponsorship of the Apps for Good course. How are these inititatives specifically propelling young people into the technology industry?
Youth Connect is about awareness of IT jobs in tech industry and Apps for Good is about taking something children are interested in and showing them how it works under the covers. At the moment it’s not taught that way and children need exposure at how the technology industry really works.
How will focusing on educating young children in technology now affect the industry in the future?
We want the UK to be successful and we want interesting IT jobs to be in the UK. We want the most talented children in the UK to be interested in the technology industry rather than go into banking or other sectors because we [Dell] want our business and the tech industry in the UK to grow and in order to do that we need to have a population that has the right skills set.
Please follow this author on Twitter @Tineka_S or comment below.