As cloud goes mainstream House of Lords assesses digital skills gap
The House of Lords has set up a special committee to assess the UK’s digital competitiveness. The House of Lords Committee on Digital Skills will focus on assessing the digital capability of the nation at a time when enterprise adoption of cloud services is steadily increasing, creating demand for skills around cloud, mobility and cybersecurity.
The investigation will examine the digital capability of the UK, and include an overview of future technology trends as well as how the nation may best prepare the future workforce to compete in an economy increasingly focused on providing digital services.
A major area of focus for the investigation will be weather the UK is developing a workforce that is appropriately skilled for future jobs.
“The level of technological change in the UK and the rest of the world is staggering, and having a workforce that possesses the right skills is going to prove vital to our economy,” said Baroness Morgan of Huyton, chair of the Committee.
“Our Committee will therefore be analysing in-depth the state of the UK’s digital knowledge, and examining whether our labour market is skilled enough to compete on the international stage.”
She explained that this will involve looking at the range of skills taught to students and graduates, comparing whether what they are taught matches the rapidly growing number of ICT vacancies in the market.
“Making sure we have the infrastructure to support the digital environment of the future” will be the central task of government in the wake of the Committee’s report.
The move to assess the UK’s digital skills competency comes at a time when consensus among academics, government and business is quickly forming around the notion of an impending ICT skills gap across the nation.
According to a report published by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills in September last year, growth in the UK digital industries sector could be hampered by an impending skills gap brought about by the rapid proliferation of cloud and mobile technologies.
The report says that cloud computing, mobile technologies and cyber-security are creating demand for deeper and more specialised IT skills – skills the report says are lacking in the UK.