IT skills meltdown: Universities in urgent need of rescue pact with business
There’s a familiar saying, attributed to the Jesuits, that goes “Give me a child of seven, and I will show you the man”. It may be facile to try and apply it to the IT skills shortage, but there’s a fundamental truth to be seen: our education system from infancy upwards is failing the industry.
Maths and science have systemically been undernourished in schools, and it’s getting worse year on year. Whilst seven year olds in the
It gets worse. When our young scientists emerge with their scrolls and mortarboards, chances are they’ll also be clutching a bunch of legacy instruction that will have to be unlearnt or enhanced using their first employer’s investment. Meanwhile, six thousand miles away,
Without urgent action, the future’s bleak. The
We can get back in the game, but we have gone beyond the point at which gentle, remedial action will make any difference. There needs to be a radical change of attitude amongst the pillars of responsibility. Ten years of ‘education, education, education’ seems to have had little effect, but it’s too easy just to blame the Government. An interface at which sensible investment will be most swiftly beneficial is the one where big business meets tertiary education. In partnership, universities and enterprises can close ranks to work on the practical gaps - rather than the theoretical wholes. The shared goal must be to give life to a generation of work-ready, innovation-hungry prodigies.
On-the-job training provided by companies in the
Conservatively, it will take fifteen years to fill the skills gap. If each decent-sized company were to commit to providing excellent on-the-job training today, sponsoring students next year and working with a partner university on designing and funding a vocational course in five years time, the
March 15, 2007 12:46 AM | Permalink