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Do the Maths

With some big announcements on education in the Autumn statement last Wednesday, we thought it would be a fitting time to give you another snippet of what’s been going on in the education arm of UKFast. Bryn has the lowdown.

Maths Hub App

Our MD Jonathan congratulating some very talented youngsters!

On Wednesday a man, educated at Eton, who studied history at Oxford stood up and talked about the importance of apprenticeships and vocational education. Times they are a-changing…right?

Whatever your political persuasion, Wednesday’s budget speech highlighted some very important points about the state of education in the UK – especially where the tech industry is concerned.

It’s no secret that UK tech is facing down the barrel of a substantial skills gap. Our Director of Education, Aaron, highlighted where he thinks the education system is getting it wrong.

“The reason there is a gap is because the IT curriculum isn’t close to being aligned with what businesses need skills-wise in the real world. Yes we need to fund FE colleges, and yes we need to motivate businesses to take on more apprentices, but there needs to be a fundamental change in the relationship between the business world and the education system.”

That relationship is something the education team here at UKFast have worked hard to cultivate. Working with over 45 schools in Greater Manchester we’ve held events, run work experience programmes and helped shape IT curriculums, to not only inspire young people into careers in IT, but advise schools on what they need to teach to ensure those students come out of education with the skills employers need.

With that in mind, we held a fantastic event at UKFast campus this week. We were delighted to sponsor and host the Maths Hub – Maths App Awards ceremony. Not only was it a fun-filled evening, it was also prime example of what education can be with a little ‘outside of the box’ thinking. Challenging students from across the country to design an app that helps teach Maths, Maths Hub have hit on something pretty important here.

By taking children out of the classroom and setting them a challenge, Maths Hub are showing kids how their IT lessons transfer to the real world. Not only that, but those children are picking up transferable skills like giving presentations, communication and team work.

Tarun Kapur, Chief Executive of the Dean Trust, was the key note speaker at the event. We caught up with him last week to hear his thoughts.

He said: “Another fantastic event hosted at UKFast. The Maths Hub App Awards was a resounding success in showcasing the fantastic programming skills of the next generation. The standard of entry was truly incredible. It just shows what can be achieved when you engage children with technology in innovative ways.

“The spending review on Wednesday indicated a renewed focus on vocational education. This event was great example of how businesses can get involved and give education a real-world focus.”

George Osbourne’s speech last Wednesday promised ring-fenced funding for FE colleges and the introduction of an apprenticeship levy to motivate large businesses to take on more apprentices.

Hopefully, last week’s statement signals a realisation that the school curriculum has to teach the skills our economy needs. If there needs to be a rethink on how we teach vocational subjects like IT, aren’t we, as businesses, in the opportune position steer these changes?

To learn more about how UKFast is helping to future-proof the digital economy, visit the Training and Education page on our website.

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