The recent announcement of BBC director general Tony Hall that the teaching of computer coding is to become more widespread within the next two years has been strongly endorsed by Chris Bartlett, director and founder of recruitment firm GCS.
The initiative, which Hall claims will bring coding into "every home, business, and school", is something that Mr Bartlett believes will be vital in combating the emerging skills gaps in the UK's IT industry that were most recently acknowledged in a City & Guilds report.
“We’ve already begun to see the effects of increased demand for IT workers not being met,” Bartlett said. “In the past, the U.K. IT industry has often overcome skills shortfalls by turning to foreign nationals, but recent changes in visa legislation have made this much more difficult. Businesses may still choose to outsource overseas, but I believe it is vital that we keep our engineering, technology and service industries in the U.K. as much as possible. The BBC’s recently announced plan will be invaluable to this end.”
Projections suggest that, over the next 10 years, the U.K.'s technology industry will require around 1 million new workers and, in Bartlett's opinion, unless the nation works together to radically improve IT capabilities and encourage the younger generation to consider careers in technology, this will not be achievable.