Young adults face very complex challenges to excel at school while building the relevant knowledge and achieving the right grades. The very basic truth is that whether you are preparing for GCSEs, A-levels or simply heading off to school for the first day of the year, important decisions must be made very early on in educational life. For some this can be a very difficult and daunting task to accomplish and in order to help we should be nurturing the correct type of learning early on. With digital and technology-driven applications proliferating, the younger generation can thrive in confidence with an entirely new mind-set that puts an emphasis on STEM skills – and innovative thinking – first.
A focus on STEM learning is important for individuals and the broader economy. But the responsibility must fall on everyone including larger organisations and governments to build a strong pipeline of digital skills in schools that allows the future generation to thrive in the current business environment. How else can businesses expect to prepare for the future which will be driven by technology such as artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things and virtual reality if today’s generation aren’t learning the supporting skills required?
Closing the digital skills gap on the very first day
There is no hiding that the digital skills gap must shrink if both businesses and the younger generation expect to prosper. As technology flourishes in all aspects of daily life, businesses must understand that digital skills will be at the forefront of almost all aspects of the organisation. Building a long-term strategy to overcome the digital skills gap will be all too important. This is where it will become crucial to work alongside educational bodies, schools and the younger generation themselves to truly understand the challenges they face. Doing this will not only help build a robust STEM learning strategy early on but will reveal any pinch points and enable the gap to close.
The future of education itself is being revolutionised by digital services with schools, colleges and universities all having big aspirations for the future. Despite this, more than half struggle to keep up with technological change; eight in ten schools are still investing in basics such as network connectivity and school laptops, while 78% say the level of technical competency varies widely. Educational establishments must keep their aspirations and begin speaking a digital language by implementing appropriate role models in school, encouraging relevant work experience and supporting overall digital teaching.
The technology sector will always be a key source of strength for the UK and the rest of Europe, but if businesses are to successfully continue to grow and develop they must ensure to invest in the future workforce. Not building the right talent will only lead to a growing digital skills gap even further. When it comes to STEM skills and education, tackling these worries immediately couldn’t be more important. A failure to build the relevant skills at an early age will undoubtedly have a resulting negative impact on the businesses’ growth in the long-term.
The key to success is (unsurprisingly) co-collaborating together
As digital natives, young people intuitively understand elements of technology whereas the older generations have had to learn – as a result, the youth of today represent huge and exciting potential. It’s our responsibility to attract and support the younger generation with the right skills. Closing the skills gap and appealing to the correct talent is no longer a nice to have but business necessity. The responsibility is crucially for everyone to share and business leaders, government bodies and the education sector must work together. In the digital world not having the right digital and STEM skills will be detrimental to the future, not just for the youth of today but also forward-thinking businesses.