A programme designed to address the skills gap in Scotland’s expanding digital technologies industry - by delivering work-ready tech talent - is to be rolled out following a successful pilot scheme.
The Digital Skills Partnership, a ScotlandIS initiative backed by Skills Development Scotland and the Scottish Funding Council, developed the scheme to improve collaboration between industry and academia.
Students gain experience of real-world challenges by bringing them together with different levels of expertise to respond to an industry-style brief.
The project also provides college students with support so that they can move seamlessly on to university, helping to acquaint them with the university environment before they make the move.
The pilot programme saw five teams of five students from around Scotland pitted against each other for the chance to gain valuable experience and also to win a team prize of £1,000, donated by Craneware.
Each team received the brief at the end of January and was paired with an academic lead and an industry mentor from either CAS or CGI UK.
ScotlandIS project development manager Lesley Broadwood said: “It has been great to see how well the pilot has gone for everyone involved. This initiative is aimed specifically at making sure our tech graduates are as well-equipped as possible to hit the ground running when they join the workforce and this mixed experience level project will help prepare them in a more realistic way for the software development process in industry. The success from this pilot will help us to roll the programme out at the start of the next academic year.”
Joanna Campbell, Chair of the Digital Skills Partnership and Vice Principal Student Experience at the City of Glasgow College, added: “The true benefit of the programme is that it offers students an insight that goes beyond what can be taught in a classroom, through responding to a live brief with a multi-skilled team and access to real-world tools. This helps contextualise the learning and illustrate how their tertiary education will translate into the workplace.”