New toolkit helps Scottish tech firms forge links with schools
More than 10 Scottish organisations have teamed up to produce a ‘toolkit’ to help tech firms enhance the digital skills of school pupils.
The Tech Industry in Schools resource details support available to businesses from the Scottish Government, Education Scotland, ScotlandIS, the Scottish Tech Army, Developing the Young Workforce, Skills Development Scotland (SDS) and others.
It is designed to make it as easy possible for the tech industry to sign up to the myriad of education-related programmes available.
The initiative is partly driven by the Scottish Technology Ecosystem Review conducted last year by computing science professor and former Skyscanner executive Mark Logan, which called for more businesses to get involved in education.
It was further inspired by the launch of the Digital Technology Education Charter by dressCode which has received backing from a growing number of businesses, training and learning providers and sector partners in recent months.
Toni Scullion, computing science teacher and founder of not-for-profit dressCode, said: “We have an incredible tech sector in Scotland that is continuing to grow, but unfortunately this same story is not reflected in computing science at schools with challenging statistics.
“Working with industry is important to dressCode and we believe it is a vital aspect of inspiring the next generation not only into computing science at schools but also a career in tech.”
Phil Ford, head of digital technologies and financial services at SDS said it was great to see everyone come together in this way, for the first time, to get as many tech industry experts into schools as possible.
He added: “Computer science and other digital technology skills are so vital to the future of our children and the Scottish economy, which is why we at SDS are a signatory of dressCode’s DTEC.”
The new toolkit received its official launch on 7 October at ScotSoft 21, Scotland’s largest technology sector event.
The event is run by ScotlandIS, with chief executive Karen Meechan also offering her support to the initiative and the partnership approach.
She said: “It’s great to see so many passionate people come together, all focused on this one big issue, which has to be addressed, not only for the benefit of the technology sector but for all the different industries now relying on digital tech to do business every day.”
The Tech in Schools toolkit is available here.