Secret of plugging tech skills gap lies in the ‘missing middle’ – Code Institute

Online learning provider, Code Institute, argues in a new white paper that too many FE learners are bypassing skills-focused technical learning in favour of heading to the workplace or taking degrees

An online learning provider has launched a white paper aiming to enable more people to find work in the tech sector.

‘Delivering the missing middle’, published this week by Code Institute, argues that there is a tendency in further education for learners to move from level 3 into degree-level education or industry, thereby bypassing the skills-focused technical learning at levels 4 and 5.

This, argues Code Institute, leads to a situation in which “a huge part of the workforce is over-educated and many graduates are under-qualified, lacking the skills employers need”.

The urgency with which these ‘missing middle’ skills should be pushed is particularly acute, says Code Institute, at a time when UK businesses are demanding renewed focus on digital skills for a post-COVID recovery.


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The white paper claims that, while further education colleges are best placed to deliver these skills, they all too often lack the resources to develop and maintain the requisite content. Thus, it says, the benefits of partnering with a qualified third-party content provider.

City of Bristol College is a co-publisher of the white paper, and among the FE providers that Code Institute and Gateway Qualifications have supported in offering a one-year level 5 qualification in job-focused software development and web application skills.

“For me, it’s quite a ludicrous situation, given the importance of coding and digital to the modern economy, that we don’t have an education system that produces people with the right skills,” said Andy Forbes, principal and chief executive of City of Bristol College.

Providing just a one-year level 5 qualification, claims Code Institute, leads to 90% graduate employment in the tech sector within six months of qualifying.

If you would like to read the white paper, Delivering the Missing Middle, please click here.

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