It was a delight to attend the South Central Institute of Technology (IOT) launch at Bletchley Park and a great pleasure to have the Institute’s Principal Alex Warner as a member of the Biztech Management Board.
As launches go, it excelled – with a fast-moving and well-choreographed set of presentations from all the founding Stakeholders (including from Sir Durmot Turing – nephew of Sir Alan Turing).
Perhaps the most important part of the celebration involved an interview between Alex and two of the Institute’s Apprentices – one a software engineer in the making, another a crypto-analyst.
They probably did more to explain why the Institute is there than perhaps any other set of speakers. They illustrated perfectly that there is a generation of young people, with a desire to work with technology, who simply want to get going, get their hands dirty, and learn at the same time.
There is a sharp irony that sits at the heart of this.
Biztech is helping the Institute of Coding (IOC) in their efforts to re-evaluate how accreditation of computing-related degree courses could be made more relevant for employers.
The reason for the review relates to sustained critical feedback from employers that graduates presenting themselves to prospective employers do not have the skills and competence needed in the fast-moving world of technology. Therefore, time is required from the employer to bring new graduates up to speed for the roles they will occupy.
I cannot imagine that being a criticism that will ever be levelled at the IOT.
The two Apprentices interviewed are studying whilst also working with an employer, and both are deep at the heart of cutting edge technical projects e.g. building a pendant that warns when social distance guidelines are breached, and solving crimes using digital forensics.
Here are two young people who will hit the ground running on the completion of their studies and will not look back.
For Biztech the creation of the IOT represents a big step forward.
We work with schools to encourage young people to look at engineering and technology-related careers.
For many, the prospect of spending 3 or 4 years away at University is daunting. And when you also hear criticism from employers about the skills, knowledge and competence that their degree course will endow them with – it’s no surprise that many young people stop to think twice.
The IOT is a shining example of an alternative option – one that makes a whole lot of sense for people who learn better through doing, or who believe that further studies beyond school are not for them, or who are simply looking for an opportunity to both study and work at the same time.