From education to employment

Review of publicly funded digital skills qualifications

Outlines what needs to be done to create the digital skills qualifications for the future that meet the needs of learners and employers.

In response to a request from the Skills Minister Nick Boles and Minister for Culture and the Digital Economy Ed Vaizey, the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) conducted a review of publicly funded digital skills in further education.

The review looked at how relevant and up to date the qualifications the SFA currently funds are, both in terms of responding to technological change and building a meaningful ladder of progression from basic digital skills through to the advanced and specialist skills needed for the growing number of digital roles across the economy.

The review, which took place alongside other reviews of digital skills provision in higher education and broader technical and professional education reform, has made 6 recommendations, each outlining what needs to be done to enhance digital skills qualifications in the future, and enable individuals to progress.

Review recommendations

  • consistency of language – the terminology everyone uses must be consistent, a shared language is needed that signals the meaning, relevance and importance of digital skills for individuals and industry

  • setting the standards – clear standards are needed to support the different stages of digital skills development

  • putting the basics in place – digital literacy must be given the same level of importance as numeracy and literacy, with the right opportunities and provision to enable individuals to achieve a basic level of digital literacy

  • integrating the general skills the workforce need – general digital skills must integrate within all the technical and professional routes to employment, so that they can meet the needs of a broad workforce

  • progression to advanced and specialist digital skills – a digital technical and professional route should be created to provide clear progression to high-level digital skills and jobs

  • completing the jigsaw – the government must consider how to bring together the findings of this and other reviews to deliver a coherent flow of relevant digital skills for the UK economy

The report’s recommendations provide an opportunity to ensure that provision is relevant, up to date and meeting the digital skills needs of individuals and employers. The recommendations have been designed to support the reforms to technical and professional education, which are currently under way. The reforms are focusing on simplifying the system, working in direct partnership with employers to ensure that they are meeting the needs of the 21st century.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the SFA will work together to consider how the recommendations can be taken forward to ensure digital skills provision is meeting the needs of industry.

For more information read the full review.

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