ICT Skills Development Initiative - UK


ICT Skills Development Initiative - UK
The UK faces an on-going and severe skills shortage in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)-qualified workers, a situation that is only set to increase as the nation aims to rebalance its economy toward innovative, technology-driven industries. The challenge is particularly pronounced in ICT. e-Skills UK, the sector skills council for business and information technology, estimates that employment opportunities in the sector are forecast to grow at almost twice the UK average in the period to 2020. According to the Social Market Foundation, a leading cross-party think tank, the UK faces an annual shortfall in domestic supply of around 40,000 STEM graduates.

At TCS, as one of the top 10 technology firms in the world, employing in the UK some 11,000 UK-based staff, we believe that delivering good results will always involve the ability to draw on the very best of global talent. At the same time, our growth in the UK is increasing our need to recruit talent domestically, making any potential shortage of skills a significant concern that needs to be addressed by the industry with robust and targeted action, alongside governmental responses.

We view the skills challenge as being a series of layered and overlapping issues, each of which must be addressed in order to affect a turnaround.

There is a need to raise the profile of STEM – and ICT professions in particular, increasing the attractiveness of these professions before critical career decisions are made during secondary education. In this context, more has to be done to improve the ability of educational professionals and the curriculum to deliver the appropriate skills needed by the industry.

In addition, current computer / IT education is too focused on program usage, rather than creation. Therefore, we wish to encourage the creative elements of IT.

Moreover, employers must look at creating opportunities to bring young people into the workplace in an appropriate manner that helps provide and develop skills.

Our Approach

  • Promoting Engineering on the Global Stage
    With more and more of young people’s experience mediated by popular culture, it is also vital that this should play a role in the process of raising awareness and inspiring interest in STEM careers. As such TCS – along with its sister companies Jaguar Land Rover and Tata Steel Europe - is proud to be a founding donor of the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering. This high-profile global award seeks to recognize and celebrate innovations that are changing the world, creating an engineering equivalent of the Nobel Prize. 

  • Engagement - Working with Academia
    TCS has forged strong partnerships with some of the UK’s leading universities and is providing guidance and dedicated course content to help shape MSc and MBA courses that are relevant to today’s ICT industry. Working with Imperial College London, Durham University and Nottingham University, our Academic Interface Program (AIP) integrates TCS projects within the syllabus.

  • Employment – Apprenticeships, Graduate Placements and Beyond
    Recruiting directly from university campuses as part of a structured graduate program has been an integral part of TCS’ business globally. Today, one of our key business focuses in the UK is developing an effective graduate program that delivers appropriately skilled staff to our business, while ensuring that placements on a program also deliver flexible skill-sets to candidates to support career longevity.

    Partnering with the National Apprentice Board and e-Skills UK, TCS is supporting a national push to make apprenticeship a career option for young people. With the vast majority of our employees working on client premises, we are taking a unique ground up approach in partnership with our customers. British Airways was instrumental in helping pioneer this new approach, which relies on close collaboration and delivering joint learning to the apprentices. This program is now being rolled out with other customers.

  • Inspiration – TCS IT Futures Program
    Our program, working across numerous secondary schools and universities in the UK and Ireland, aims to reconnect young people who have an innate enthusiasm for technology, and in particular IT, but who are disassociated and disenfranchised from its creation. Working alongside specialist charities and social enterprises, TCS seeks to once again personalize the creation of technology, showing young students that they can help to create the digital worlds they inhabit.

    The IT Futures program aims to engage students at critical stages in education (from secondary to university level), while strengthening the ability of educators to deliver effective training and relevant skills.

    Our program consists of the following: Teach First | STEMNET | Apps for Good | MyKindaCrowd | Three Hands

Teach First
Teach First
Building a contemporary, world-class cohort of ICT teachers

TCS and Teach First have partnered to launch a program that will support high quality ICT teachers in schools serving low-income communities. The program will invest in the future of IT education across the country by helping attract high-performing graduates and IT specialists to teach and lead in the classrooms and inspiring the next generation of IT leaders and innovators in the UK.

TCS ICT ambassadors, inspiring young minds

STEMNET works to link STEM employers, schools and colleges, recruiting professionals to serve as ambassadors for STEM subjects and careers. Helping address demand for ICT ambassadors, TCS has created a bespoke program that promotes volunteering as a STEMNET Ambassador for its staff and seeks to engage volunteers from its customers and partners. Under the program, TCS will work with STEMNET to develop tailored co-branded resources for use in schools.

In the long term, by increasing the number of specialist STEM Ambassadors from the technology sector working in schools, we will create a sustainable source of support to teachers seeking to offer relevant technology and ICT training in the classroom.

Apps for Good
Apps for Good
Application development comes to the classroom

TCS has teamed up with Apps for Good to challenge young people aged 11-14 to be a generation of problem-solvers and tech entrepreneurs who create apps to solve problems they care about. TCS will be supporting 30 Apps for Good schools that will benefit thousands of students. TCS’ employees will serve as Apps for Good Experts, running sessions to help inspire the students through feedback and advice.

Setting real-world business IT challenges for 14 to 18 year olds

TCS and MyKindaCrowd will deliver three online Industry-Challenges and sixty live workshops in schools across the UK that bring these challenges to life as well as showcasing ICT career opportunities and providing practical insight into key workplace skills.

Click here to participate in the TCS Challenge “Create Social” | Hashtag: #TCSsocial

Three Hands
Three Hands
University students competing to provide IT solutions to local charities

With Three Hands, we are creating the TCS Tech Challenge, in which small teams of students from some of the top UK universities will take on challenging projects with non-profit partners. With access to guidance from TCS’ experts, the projects will challenge the students to harness the power of technology to address strategic needs that the community partners have identified. This real-life learning experience for students offers an opportunity for them to experience the application of technology in a real world context, gaining valuable work experience while engaging with TCS as a potential employer.

To Top

We believe the ICT skills challenge is considerable but remain confident that with concerted collaborative effort, the UK can emerge as a world force in technology-driven industries. TCS in turn wants to be at the forefront of this effort.

For more information, please email Sofia Michalopoulou at sofia.micha@tcs.com.