Digital skills pilot challenges students with real-life briefs

The Digital Skills Partnership has been developed to improve collaboration between industry and academia in Scotland

A programme to develop the collaboration between tech industry and academia and address the digital skills gap in Scotland has completed a successful pilot.

The Digital Skills Partnership programme was rolled out by tech trade association ScotlandIS and supported by Skills Development Scotland and the Scottish Funding Council.

The programme seeks to give students experience of real-world challenges in the software development process. Small groups of learners with different levels of experience and expertise are required to respond to an industry style-brief with very specific deliverables.

Five teams from around Scotland participated in the pilot and were pitted against each other for the chance to win a team prize of £1,000 and gain valuable experience in software development.

The true benefit of the programme is that it offers students an insight that goes beyond what can be taught in a classroom, through responding to a live brief with a multi-skilled team and access to real-world tools.
– Joanna Campbell, City of Glasgow College

The teams were:

Advertisement

  • Robert Gordon University and North East Scotland College
  • Herriot Watt University and Edinburgh College (two teams)
  • University of Stirling and Forth Valley College
  • University of the West of Scotland and City of Glasgow College

Joanna Campbell, chair of the Digital Skills Partnership and vice principal student experience at the City of Glasgow College, said: “The true benefit of the programme is that it offers students an insight that goes beyond what can be taught in a classroom, through responding to a live brief with a multi-skilled team and access to real-world tools. This helps contextualise the learning and illustrate how their tertiary education will translate into the workplace.”

Each team received a brief at the end of January 2019 and was paired with an academic lead and an industry mentor from IT solutions companies CAS Ltd and CGI UK.

A team from Edinburgh College and Herriot Watt University were named at the ultimate winners.


Related news: Scottish DigitalXtra fund doubles in size


Chris Ellis, chief technical officer at CAS Ltd said: “Everyone involved has much to be proud of. It will be great to see this scheme rolled out further and see the results of more rounded work-ready recruits filtering through to the benefit of this dynamic and exciting industry in Scotland.”

For more information on the Digital Skills Partnership, visit https://www.scotlandis.com/digital-skills-partnership/

Advertisement