The UK is missing out on both driving, and capitalising on, the next global industrial revolution according to a youth educational organisation maximising computer science and technology skills in children.
Fire Tech Camp – providers of tech camps for children and teens during school holidays – is greatly concerned that there are not enough young people being equipped with the skills and opportunities to become the authors of the next wave of tech-enabled entrepreneurship.
The tech industry’s economic impact is huge – it contributes over £91 billion to the UK economy. But e-Skills UK estimates that there will be 900,000 unfilled computing jobs in Europe by 2019/2020, and 50 per cent of companies employing tech specialists report skills gaps in their workforce.
Jill Hodges, founder, Fire Tech Camp explains:
“The momentum in the tech industry is going to continue and move into new areas. We’ll still need people with great ideas, but we are also going to see huge opportunities where software and hardware meet, for example in the connected homes, and Internet of Things. The most important thing is that we have young people who have the interest and the skills to imagine new tech-enabled solutions to the problems around them.”
The courses offered by Fire Tech Camp were developed by entrepreneur Hodges after she realised that her own children weren’t getting essential skills in their school.
“All the enthusiasm that young people have for tech was being totally switched off when they were taught boring ICT skills. That’s a pity when these skills can give kids a voice, an opportunity to show off their creativity, and empower them to solve a generation’s problems.”
Ms Hodges decided to create the kind of educational experience that she was hoping to find for her own children. Fire Tech Camp has now hosted over 2,000 children around the UK, and empowered young creatives to design and make, for example, a dress of LED lights, apps, fully functional robots and even new computer games.
“Giving young people the opportunity to explore different kinds of digital making embeds in them this approach to solving problems – it makes the concept of building a tool if you don’t find the one that you need mainstream. This is exactly the energy and skill-set that will power the UK economy in the coming years, both in start-ups, and in established companies and trades. Almost all businesses are united by the need to increase productivity, use big data, and connect with their clients. Young people have incredible originality and creativity – and we can give them the skills to amplify their ideas into real solutions and eventually businesses. They want to get their hands dirty – and we need people who are ready to design and produce to become the leaders in new industries that are going to emerge over the coming years.”
Fire Tech Camp is a provider of tech skills based education camps in the school holidays empowering the next generation of digital inventors. Courses available include 3D printing a; digital photography and editing; robotics; Minecraft making; coding for Java and Python; digital music production; video game design; web development and mobile app development, as well as much more. For more information please visitwww.firetechcamp.com or visit @firetechcamp on twitter.