Web design and development is the country’s leading growth area for employment. The amount of people working in the industry is predicted to rise by 57% before 2024.

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Tech Partnership analysis of ONS data

Good news for the industry, you might think. But we are not at all prepared to meet this rise in demand for skilled developers. So where do we go from here?

Solutions are starting to emerge. Higher and Further education in the UK is slowly coming round to addressing the needs of our industry. Places like The National College for Digital Skills — Ada — in Tottenham are pioneering schemes to prepare young people for a career in our digital economy. Many other institutions are following suit with degree apprenticeships and covering more practical, vocational skills with their teaching. The issue though, is that these schemes can’t plug the gap that exists now. …

Open Drupal is a project to provide free and open source learning materials for people wanting to teach or learn Drupal skills, it is also the documentation on which we base the training for the candidates on the Drupal Apprenticeship Scheme. What we are aiming towards is a standard for what we (as an industry) can consider to be the basic level of skills and knowledge required as an entry level Drupal Developer.

It is imperative for both of these projects that the documentation is as current and relevant as possible so the course copy is maintained in a constant state of review and improvement. All the core files are held as markdown in our repo on GitHub, additional learning materials such as presentations and teaching aids are stored publicly on Google Drive and linked to as necessary from the core copy. …

There is an obvious and distinct lack of women in the technology industry — this is not news for anyone but it also does not appear to be changing.

Specifically in my sphere of web development from designers, developers and coders to analysts, strategists and managers — women are underrepresented at all levels which maintains a gender gap that affects us all. Women’s equality in technology is a critical issue that many prominent people are trying to tackle and we at the Drupal Apprenticeship scheme are also trying to deliver an impact.

To this end we would really like to recruit more women as mentors and trainers to the scheme as well as appealing more directly to young women who might take up web development as a career. …


Crispin Read

UX, Open Source, Apprenticeships, Cycling, Crisps

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