Lifeguards for the Tech Pool

The Tech Partnership? Never heard of them? If you have any staff who you class as tech-enabled then have I got news for you…

Tech Partnership Logo

The Tech Partnership is a growing network of employers, collaborating to accelerate the growth of the digital economy, and Quicksilva is a member along with the “great and the good” of the technical sector. Quicksilva is an SME, but we identify with the agenda of the Tech Partnership, just as the giants of our industry do…and you probably will do too.

We believe that for the UK economy to grow, the digital economy has to grow to drive it along…and we can all support this aim by:

  • Inspiring young people to embark on technology careers;
  • Improving opportunities for apprentices and graduates;
  • Developing strategically important digital skills; and
  • Raising quality and standards in education and training.

So, it’s about investing in the future? Well yes, that’s a huge part of it, but there are benefits being delivered to the Tech Talent Pool from day one…and everyone in our industry needs to be a lifeguard, safeguarding the life of that valuable Pool.

The Tech Partnership is the place to go for tech training and development support for your company. Match funding for courses is available now and it is there for you to help make a difference to your team.

I will be making use of this fund myself and I wanted all our contacts both private and public sector be aware of what they are missing out on. Ask me about it next time we are in contact, or…

You could just Join us

The Big Bang for Girls

It has always been a male thing…adolescent boys hunkered down in their dim, fetid bedroom fantasising about computer generated heroes…no interpersonal skills and no hope of a girlfriend. Why is it always boys? When does it start? Why do they always seem to “get” IT?



At the risk of upsetting our female readers, I suppose most men like gadgets and geeks just take this to the extreme becoming the early adopters in society. To turn this around then, they are smart, aware and engaged with technology.  This is a stereotype that girls just don’t seem to enjoy, either as potential IT users themselves or by having geeks as friends.

In the mid-2000s, Geek Chic became fashionable and there was a slight surge in girls wanting to look nerdy.  TV programmes like “The Big Bang Theory” though, have done nothing to encourage girls into technology as they portray girls in the industry as plain, desperate and un-dateable.

But girls are missing a trick here, as research by eSkillsUK, the sector skills council, shows that 1 in 20 of the total UK workforce is employed in IT…jobs in the sector are growing nearly 5 times faster than the UK average…over half a million new entrants are needed to fill the jobs over the next 5 years.

Over a number of years eSkillsUK have made inroads into understanding the psyche of young girls, finding that 11-14 years old is where their interest in IT gets closed down.  Whether this is down to the school syllabus, the subject matter or purely down to the scarcity of other girls in IT to relate to, is up for debate, but eSkillsUK have tackled the problem on all fronts.

The first indications that female students are beginning to show an interest in Information Technology were probably missed by most of us, but figures released this week by the Joint Council for Qualifications show that more girls in total took the ICT GCSE qualification this year: 38,608 in 2013, compared to 32,994 in 2012.

Girls have also excelled from an achievement perspective: 30.9% of female candidates achieved an A* or A grade, compared with 23% of males. But less of the male ego bashing, the ICT entrants as a  whole did well, since only 21.3% of all GCSEs receive an A* or A.

ICT GCSE entries have risen by 25% in 2013, with 87,788 candidates sitting the exam this year, compared with 70,420 in 2012. This is the first time since 2005 that the number of candidates has increased.

While there is a long way to go, if you believe as I do that the IT talent in UK plc is worth developing because its output is likely to drag us out of recession, give a girl geek a pat on the back.