The Next Generation of Digital Workers

A Director of General Assembly UK believes that Britain will need 750,000 skilled digital workers by 2017. If we can’t support that growth the UK economy could face a shortfall of up to £2bn each year.

There were just 56,025 UK computer science graduates in 2011. It’s clear that the number of individuals emerging from the education system with the desired skill set is not enough to satisfy demand; this is an equation which won’t ever balance unless we multiply the number of inputs from our curriculum. The solution, in short, is that children and teachers must be equipped to learn and teach these skills which will soon be seen as a necessity in many careers.

Education, Education, Education

The educational syllabus in England is beginning to reflect the demand for technical roles. ICT has now been replaced with a subject that teaches children computer science, information technology and digital literacy. There is also a host of after-school clubs and professional training companies engaging with the next generation of developers.

Work Experience

3Squared is keen to assist in the efforts to furnish computer enthusiasts at grass roots level with an insight into a career in technology. Both the company’s founding directors are graduates of Sheffield Hallam University’s School of Computing and we retain strong ties there. The company acts as a mentor to the next generation of digital workers by offering internships, placements and even work experience to school students. This is also our way of giving back to our community in the steel city.

Over the summer period, we work with certain schools who have pupils interested in a career in technology. Last week Callum Birks, a year 10 student from Meadowhead School completed a week’s work experience with us after expressing an interest to pursue a career in IT. On his last day with us we asked him to write about his week, and his impressions of 3Squared. Here’s what he had to say…

Throughout my stay at 3Squared for my work experience I am pleased to stay that I’ve enjoyed every single part about it. It has been great to be in an environment where everything is great such as the dress code and the communication between one another which creates a casual atmosphere and also being full of technology. As a result of this it creates an atmosphere where everyone enjoys what they do and everyone can have fun while they work, leaving them with a mind-set at the end of the day thinking that they can’t wait to come back every single morning which was nice to see. When I first arrived at 3Squared I was introduced to everyone at the company and I automatically knew that I would fit in with everyone, which gave me enthusiasm to want to work here and made me excited for the next day. The company is fitted with a number of departments, including web developers, project managers, mobile developers and software testers.

Lucky for me I got to have a taste of each individual job, personally my favourite was working with the project managers and also with the web developers, but I really enjoyed the fundamentals of each section of work I was given in each department. During my time with the project managers I was mainly working with excel spreadsheets and also emailing work to others. But besides that my day consisted of conversations full of humour that made the day really worthwhile. When I first heard about the fact I was working with the project managers I thought it’d be quite boring but I was wrong, it was really creative and kept my mind on edge always having to think of new ideas that I could implement into everything else rather than what I was working on.

While working with the developers I got to work on a series of modules to create a website using html and CSS , which was really fun as it is something that I was really excited for and knew I’d be working on prior to arriving. Working on these really influenced me in the world of technology and made me feel a part of the team and also giving me a brief idea of what I really want to do as a full time job which I was really happy about.

My employer Cherry Limb also gave me a full day working with her. I was sent to collect certain things around town that either the company needed or wanted. That being one of the jobs, I was given a second which was filing papers that were financial paperwork, or sheets that were needed for confidential reasons. This was a behind the scenes look at what the company goes through and does to be sustainable and keep at its best. I also got a chance to work at the helpdesk with the IT team.

Each of these roles I was given gave me a good idea on what a full time job would be like in an environment like this and I knew all these sections would be essential to me. 3Squared has been great to me and everyone within it has been as well, I have loved working here for these 5 days and I’m sure I’ll be missing it when I leave. On my first day I was asked what I wanted out of work experience and my straight answer was wanting to realise what it’s like to work in an environment that’s full of IT and also full of technology. I’m sure it is safe to say 3Squared have given me all that information and I now understand what skills I need for a job.

– Callum Birks