Tech Pathways London held a one day event on ‘Teaching 21st Century Skills: Tech & Beyond’ led by an experienced educator, Mark Martin @urban_teacher, which looked at how to support educators who teach computing. Date: 11 July 2019 @LdnCLC
The event was supported by industry insiders, from Tech London Advocates (TLA), to help participants learn about London’s labour market and the crucial role that digital industries play within it. TLA has a ‘TLA Road to One Million’ campaign with the aim to have “One million digital and tech jobs in the capital by 2023” to address London’s digital skills shortage in the labour market.
Mark explained that “Talent is everywhere. But the barrier is access and entry into these roles. Everyone needs to be in the room for these conversations. It’s common sense but to make it happen is a challenge.”
The event was introduced by Caitlin McMillan, Tech Pathways London project coordinator. @TechPathwaysLdn is a new programme of training for educators of 11-24 year olds, funded as part of the Mayor of London’s Digital Talent programme, aiming to bridge the digital skills gap between education and the 21st century job market.
The first half had industry insiders address the participants;
Russ Shaw engaged the educators and shared his expertise and experience from @TechLondonAdv. He spoke about the TLA Road to One Million campaign and the focus to develop a talent pipeline.
Growth in emerging technology is hyper-scale and we need to focus on new job creation. There is also Government support through the Digital Skills Partnership and work on New Computing curriculum for schools.
Jo Tasker TLA Education Lead emphasised that digital skills’ needs introducing grassroots initiatives. @TLA_Ed takes a high level view on stakeholder engagement with a focus on inspiration, work placement and creating opportunities and pathways for students. Currently working on Information portal which would be useful for educators.
Simon Devereux shared the @AccessVfx story connecting young people to Games Industry, and discussed entry level careers in VFX animation with educators. Creative skill sets includes story telling, with no higher qualifications needed, since routes into Industry can include VFX Apprenticeship which needs talent; difference, passion, soft skills. Sectors are; Gaming, TV, Netflix; Animation; Advertising. The challenges around diversity and industry in tech are industry wide and require joined-up approach to solutions.
Claudine Adeyemi Founder @CareerEar, spoke about the importance of access to up-to-date careers advice & support. The mission is to ‘Demystify Tech careers’ to explain that Careers in tech aren’t just about learning to code. CareerEars app built using AI/Machine Learning and engages students using gamification. It’s free for students since the focus is also on supporting diversity & Inclusion in tech industry.
The second half had Mark Martin address the participants and facilitate group discussions. Mark kicked off topic on ‘Teaching 21st Century Digital Skills’ around influences on young people and their choices and emphasised that the end point isn’t everything – young people need to see the blueprint, the journey, the day to day.
Mark discussed his background working at South Bank Engineering and challenges working outside the curriculum. Issues for Teachers/Educators relates to targets and benchmarks with curriculum
- Develop as Leaders in your field
- Build professional relationships
- Young people are looking for authority and genuine relationship
Prep young people for digital careers and focus on keypoints– relatable; relevant; meaningful; purpose.
Practical group exercise to design career activity for schools
Educators were encouraged to brainstorm on how to plan for how labour market intelligence could be integrated into their setting, looking at curriculum design and in-setting careers events. Three groups submitted their plans and pitched on how they would develop classroom workshops for their students.
By the end of the event participants were enabled to:
- Have a greater understanding of London’s digital labour market.
- See how careers information can be embedded within an educational setting.
- Have greater understanding of inclusive practice in technical and careers education.
- Have more information about opportunities for training and development for young people.
Event support: TLA Education supporting this programme for educators to have a greater understanding of London’s digital labour market. TlA_Ed Objectives: Our work supports the Digital Skills Plan at a national, local and regional government level. Our express aim is to provide a central resource across three key working streams: (1) Skills and Talent (2) Apprenticeships (3) Ed Tech