A new initiative launched by Skills Development Scotland is encouraging technology employers to bring the sector to life for young pupils to inspire the next generation of “digital humans”.
Tech Industry in the Classroom involves a range of partners (see the last paragraph), and will see tech professionals share their experience and knowledge to give pupils an insight into their day to day work, and encourage them to pursue a digital career.
One of the first to sign up and get involved was global IT firm CGI. Elisha Cooper, Consultant at CGI, was enthusiastic about the new initiative, stating that the pandemic made it more important than ever to support Scottish school children.
“The digital transformation of the workplace was always on the cards, but that has been accelerated at a phenomenal pace because of Covid. Digital skills are now a prerequisite for so many jobs and industries, and not just in the tech sector anymore.”
CGI was involved in SDS’s hugely successful Discover Cyber programme (accessed by more than 140,000 pupils and teachers over four years), and it was this positive experience that encouraged the company to sign up for Tech Industry in the Classroom.
“All our staff get an annual allocation of time to do volunteer work, and what better way to use that time than to inspire the younger generation to see a tech career as both fulfilling and potentially lucrative. Our key focus for this was cyber, which is a massive growth area, and this offers a great opportunity for our cyber graduates and apprentices to share their career story,” continued Elisha.
CGI did not only bring volunteers with excellent expert insights to the party, but they also worked with teachers to tailor-make the session specifically for the school and pupils. They also developed a suite of resources that could be used by other teachers and pupils outwith the programme to add wider value to other schools.
“It’s vital that we reach as many teachers and pupils as possible to inspire them about the tech-related opportunities waiting for them out there after they leave school. Which is why more employers need to get involved with Tech Industry in the Classroom.”
Being involved in the pilot also gave CGI a chance to see what else they could offer beyond cyber security insights. Elisha added: “As well as learning more about cyber careers, and the many paths into those careers including apprenticeships, we are now looking at involving colleagues from our Space Defence division to promote careers in space technology which is growing area for us specifically, and Scotland more generally.”
CGI has a long history and commitment to giving something back to local communities, but for 2022 and beyond the company has made it its CSR mission to focus on education following the pandemic.
“We will continue to work with SDS and others, including our clients, on delivering education-focused solutions that provide students with the access they need to develop digital skills,” concluded Elisha.
Tech Industry in the Classroom is delivered and driven by SDS but fully supported by:
- AWS GetIt
- Digital Xtra Fund
- Developing the Young Workforce
- Education Scotland
- Glasgow Science Centre
- Scottish Government
- Scottish Tech Army
- SSERC/STEM Ambassadors
- Young Person's Guarantee