A growing demand for digital skills

Stuart Cree, Education Contracts Manager attended the SCDI Skills Summit 2017 at Microsoft in Edinburgh as part of Scottish Apprenticeship Week.  One of the key messages was about how improved digital skills would boost the Scottish economy and allow us to be more competitive. As Stuart reflects on the summit, he considers what this means for our Modern Apprenticeship programmes and how the College is responding to the growing demand for digital skills by organising a digital conference.

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The SCDI Skills Summit 2017 was a very inspiring event and I was particularly interested to hear from Dr Jim Hamill, Director of Future Digital Leaders. He highlighted the growing demand for digital skills and how automation and new technology will transform the workplace of the future. Many jobs we do today will have a digital element going forward. Skill sets at all levels will be impacted. Therefore, we need to prepare young people for the changing labour market through acquiring new and contemporary skills.

Dr Hamill predicted that nearly all job roles in 2020 will require digital skills to some extent, even very manual occupations such as construction will incorporate increasing elements of ICT. Digital skills will increasingly be seen as a fundamental and integral component of the Modern Apprenticeship frameworks offered by the College. The content of the College’s MA programmes will be required to adapt to stay relevant to the needs of the labour market and to the changes occurring in the workplace. The College’s overall portfolio of Modern Apprenticeship frameworks may not change dramatically in the short to medium term, but the content of the programmes will undoubtedly be transformed by the introduction of new technologies.

Ayrshire Bytes Social Media March Sponsor updates_EventbriteHeader

Another key speaker was Maggie Morrison from CGI, a global business who provide end-to-end IT and business process services. She said, “Improved digital skills would boost the Scottish economy and allow us to compete with global leaders such as Singapore.”

Interestingly, these findings will be covered in a conference we are organising on 21 March which is called Ayrshire Bytes: Data Changes Everything. The conference is part of Global DataFest 2017, a week of activities focused on digital innovation organised by The Data Lab, one of eight innovation centres funded by the Scottish Funding Council.

We have been exploring how we might engage with The Data Lab for the benefit of our students. The Ayrshire Bytes conference will present a range of perspectives on digital innovation and best practice, and showcase Scotland’s leading role in this area.

Digital is disrupting how we do business and, to be sustainable and innovative in this information age, businesses need to embrace the changes arising from developments in digital technology. This conference is a timely opportunity to consider how to ensure these changes convert into opportunities.

Bringing together leading experts from the public and private sectors, 150 delegates will be able to explore big data, predictive analytics and cyber security so that they can understand how to derive business intelligence from data.

Ayrshire Bytes will be led by one of Scotland’s leading digital experts – Caroline Stuart, who will ensure that participants derive maximum benefit from a range of speakers such as:

  • Gillian Docherty, Chief Executive of The Data Lab
  • Brendan Faulds, Associate Director at NHS National Services Scotland
  • Vicky Brock, Chief Executive of Clear Returns
  • Daniel Macintyre, Senior Manager, Glasgow Tourism Strategy
  • Craig Hume, Managing Director of Utopia Computers
  • Richard Millar, Senior Engineer of Spirit AeroSystems

Tickets are free and available at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/datafest-2017-ayrshire-bytes-data-changes-everything-tickets-31511835749

Are you concerned about digital disruption? Will your skills need to change? Have you thought about the impact of digital on your business? Come along to our conference and find out why digital is such a big deal!

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