Welcome to Heads Up this week.
Over recent years, both across the UK and beyond, the tech sector has seen rapid growth and in 2018 over 2.1 million people in the UK had jobs in digital tech, making the tech economy a bigger employer than other sectors, such as hospitality (1.3m), construction (1.9m) and financial services (1.2m). So, it has never been more important to equip our young people for the future digital economy, and in Warwickshire the Digital Schoolhouse programme is already helping to sow the seeds of our next generation of engineers.
Currently running in four Warwickshire schools, the programme has already seen spectacular results, with more than 90 per cent of primary school children left feeling more confident about computing and programming. On visit to KES yesterday it was interesting to hear how it enriches the experience and transferable skills of secondary learners. Schools are invited to come along to an open event on 17 October to find out more about the benefits of the programme and how they can get involved and I would urge as many of you as possible to take up this fantastic opportunity – read more here.
Staying on the subject of careers, the Director of Public Health’s Annual Review 2019 highlights the importance of work on our wellbeing, with recommendations focusing on how partners need to work together more to improve the health and wellbeing of our working age population. We know that in Warwickshire the percentage of young people who are NEET (Not in Employment, Education or Training) has decreased from 6% in 2016 to 3.8% in 2017, however the report highlights the need for more to be done by employers to offer work experience to young people at high risk of becoming NEET, to provide in-work skills development and training, and apprenticeships for all ages.
Our new Careers Strategy (2020-25) will focus on supporting young people as they prepare for employment, as well as recognising the adult population who may be seeking to re-enter the workplace, progress or change career during their working life. The strategy has been designed to be flexible, adaptable and forward-looking as it promotes the key transferable skills and competencies that are being increasingly recognised as the foundation for future employment. Look out for the new Careers Strategy webpages coming soon!
With best wishes
Assistant Director for Education Services