There have been numerous reports, both local and national, which outline the importance of digital skills and how they are becoming a vital and ever growing part of modern life.
In particular, the House of Lords report entitled “Make or Break: The UK’s Digital Future” highlighted the impact of changing technology on the labour market and warned that we are not addressing the significant digital skills shortage.
Some of the points raised in the report were:
- “Digital literacy should be taught as a core subject alongside numeracy and literacy.”
- “Digital and technology skills complement numeracy and literacy.”
- “Increasing the number of women in digital jobs could reap significant economic growth.”
- “There are not enough apprenticeships in digital subjects.”
- “There is a shortage of medium and high-level digital skills in our workforce.”
- “The entire workforce will need to embrace technological change and acquire new and differing levels of digital skills.”
The “Make or Break: The UK’s Digital Future” report makes reference to the UK Digital Skills Taskforce’s three-band definition of different skills levels: Digital Citizen, Digital Worker and Digital Maker, along with the UK Forum for Computing Education’s application of the definitions to the workforce.
At CCEA, we want to ensure that we are addressing Digital Skills through our education system in a strategic and joined up manner. To assist with this, we have taken the concepts behind the three broad tiers of digital skills and applied them to the context of a learner within a school setting. We want to ensure that learners attending schools in Northern Ireland become:
- Digital Citizens, with the skills that will enable them to take part in digital aspects of society, safely and without hindrance;
- Digital Workers, who are able to apply their digital skills to further their learning or in a work-related setting; and
- Digital Makers, who are starting to build their own digital technology.
To illustrate how our curriculum can do this, CCEA is currently developing a framework that will show a clear progression of these digital skills for learners from foundation stage to A-level and beyond.
This section of our website will keep you up to date with the latest developments around Digital Skills within CCEA and will allow you an opportunity to engage with us on this important matter.