Digital skills should be core subjects, says report

(Last Updated On: March 17, 2015)

Children should be taught ‘digital literacy’ as a core skill alongside maths and English, a report by a House of Lord committee says.

Computer technology brings “huge opportunities for the UK, but also significant risks”, the Lords Digital Skills Committee warns.

The internet should be viewed as a utility service, alongside water and electricity, it says.

But without action, the UK may fall behind in the new digital era. The reports says:

  • No child should leave school without basic digital literacy
  • Universities should ensure all graduates are “digitally competent”
  • Apprenticeships should have a greater emphasis on digital skills

The committee calls for action to give teachers in England the confidence and skills to deliver the new computing curriculum, otherwise “inconsistent teacher training” risks letting pupils down.

In particular, a “paucity” of women in digital careers and in science, technology, engineering and mathematics generally risks holding back UK competitiveness, the report says.

“Girls have to be engaged earlier and across all education levels” and the perception of these jobs as “male-oriented” must be addressed, it adds.

The report says 35% of current jobs in the UK could be automated within 20 years.

It urges an ambitious approach to secure the UK’s digital economy, with the government acting as the “conductor of the orchestra”, focusing on business and education.

Source: BBC

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