National Coding Week: Closing the digital skills gap


With the UK tech skills gap widening, and demand for developers at an all-time high, enticing new talent has never been more important. National Coding Week is a brilliant initiative designed to nurture coding skills in a bid to close the skills gap within UK tech to keep pace with a rapidly evolving industry, which is no easy feat.


In fact, figures from a report by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that computer programming is now the fastest-growing profession in the UK in terms of employee numbers, which is unsurprising as we emerge from the peak of a global pandemic. Accelerated digitalisation has left businesses in the lurch, with recruitment unable to keep up.


The root of the problem is in education. A study by the Learning and Work Institute indicates that Britain’s economic recovery from Covid-19 is at threat from a looming digital skills crisis, caused by a sharp fall in the number of young people taking IT courses, which in turn, impacts the number of graduates and those equipped with the necessary skills to fulfil developer roles, especially with cybersecurity fundamentals.                           


While initiatives like National Coding Week are a step in the right direction, we need businesses to also invest in upskilling their existing IT teams to create better, more secure code. The initial cost of training developers to write secure code can be quickly justified after only a few vulnerabilities are eliminated before software is released into the wild. Instead of paying the price of a security breach, business leaders should invest in training to deliver a more effective, long-term solution.