As the Science and Technology Committee’s inquiry into the Digital Skills gap gets underway, Nicola took part in an important BBC Digital Skills panel event where she discussed the growing Digital Skills gap and how it can be tackled, including action from schools, universities and industry.
The panel marked the launch of an exciting new device: the BBC micro:bit, a hand-held codable computer. As part of a national campaign – the BBC’s Make it Digital initiative – every year seven child in the UK will be given a free micro:bit to inspire a generation of youngsters and help them to develop key skills in science, technology and engineering.
The expert panel, chaired by BBC Technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones, also included Steve Roberts (Strategic Transformation Director, Barclays Bank), Bethany Koby (CEO, Tech Will Save Us), and Jessica Cecil (Controller, BBC Make it Digital initiative).
The Science and Technology Select Committee, of which Nicola is Chair, is now considering all submitted evidence and will be reporting ahead of the Government’s forthcoming Digital Transformation plan, which is due to be published later this year. Further information about the Committee’s inquiry can be accessed here.
Nicola says We are facing a digital skills shortage here in the UK. We are projected to need 1 million more workers in the digital sector by 2020 and we must create the skills needed for jobs in a digital world. Evidence shows that if the Digital Skills gap is not closed, it will have a serious impact on the UK’s economy and global competitiveness.