Getting Britain 'on the front foot' with the Institute of Coding

by Ann Pickering, HR Director at O2

This week Theresa May used her DAVOS speech to announce the UK launch of the Institute of Coding, citing it as an important initiative to get the UK “on the front foot in seizing the opportunities of technology for tomorrow”.

It’s a mission that is now told by many leaders – and is one that I have pursued for a number of years – but it still remains one of my biggest priorities at O2.

That’s why I’m proud to say our business will be playing an integral role in the Institute, working together with more than 60 leadings universities, businesses and industry experts to help create the next generation of digital specialists.

Why do I think this remains such an important issue?

The role and importance of digital skills in a practical working environment cannot be understated. The government recently predicted that within 20 years 90% of all jobs will require some element of digital skills.

As our thriving digital economy grows, there will be even greater demand for people with specialist digital skills, and equally, the individuals with those skills will need practical working experience.

But, taking this a step further, I also firmly believe that of all the digital ingredients that keep our economy and society moving and growing, top of the list is mobile. That’s why I think it’s vital to have a mobile company in the institute and it’s why we’ve got our O2 Lab team already working to provide meaningful mobile opportunities and experiences for these talented computer science students.

To meet the UK’s demand for digitally skilled professionals, we have to keep improving and supporting the development of these skills, and we will only get there if we do it together, in consortiums just like the Institute of Coding.

In 2018, I’d like to see every business look at how they are supporting the development of our next generation and bridging the digital skills gap. It’s crucial for our future and, I believe that if we act now, and act together, we can get it right.

MOBILE is one of the UK’s most powerful opportunities to stabilise and strengthen our economy. Join us on our mission to make mobile a national priority. Mobile moves Britain, so Britain needs to move mobile.