Tech experts and teachers are joining forces to help close the digital skills gap in the North East.

An event at Campus North in Newcastle brought together education and digital experts to kick start a programme of events and training to benefit teachers, pupils, businesses and the regional economy.

A recent government report found that:

  • Just 35% of computer science teachers had a relevant qualification
  • Only 70% of the required number of computer science teachers have been recruited
  • 90% of jobs require digital skills to some degree

There is also huge skills gap in the UK – with a 40,000 annual shortfall of STEM skilled workers

The STEM Teach Meet looked at how experts and educators can work together to make sure the next generation of young people have the right skills and knowledge to be able to take up future opportunities.

At the event Alison Shaw from the North East UTC spoke about the importance of giving young people the skills to take up the estimated 60,000 jobs there will be in science and tech over the next 10 years.

Christine Kemp Hall and Craig Nicholson from North Ormesby Primary Academy described how by incorporating digital skills throughout the curriculum they’ve taken their school from being rated by OFSTED as ‘requiring improvement’ to ‘outstanding’ in just two years.

Lyndsey Britton explained how Tech for Life is not just supporting young people with skills and events but has also launched training for teachers.

“Teachers from St Oswald’s C of E Primary School piloted our first courses in coding, computers and electronic skills. The courses are unique in being developed and delivered by industry experts. We’re now holding them every term and keeping the cost low to support as many teachers as we can across the North East.”

Tech for Life will also now facilitate regular STEM Teach Meets across the region, the next one is at North Ormesby Primary Academy on 13thMarch at 4.30pm

Lyndsey said, “We want to hold STEM Teach Meet so that educators and industry could get together and discuss how we can help close the digital skills gap in the region. The first event was really positive so we’re aiming to build a community of likeminded people with one simple aim: working together to ensure young people from all over the region and all backgrounds will be able to access jobs and careers in the future.”

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