BBC addressing IT skills gap with Make it Digital project


The BBC has announced the Make it Digital educational scheme that aims to help address the UK's IT skills gap.

The project will be focused on drumming up interest in the digital creative industries and will target school pupils, teachers and parents with a wide range of resources around coding, programming and digital technology.

New Bitesize guides for the school curriculum, which now includes computer coding as a compulsory subject, will support pupils and it will also start showing new children's programmes and documentaries in the autumn to encourage kids to explore the digital industries as a career path.

Tony Hall, BBC director general, said: "We want to inspire a new generation to get creative with coding, programming and digital technology. It's exactly what the BBC should be doing."

BBC controller Jessica Cecil said it's important the UK continues its technological legacy following on from pioneers such as Charles Babbage, Ada Lovelace and Alan Turing and the IT skills gap needs to be addressed before the country loses its reputation as a tech pioneer.

"We have just celebrated 25 years of the World Wide Web, created by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, and we are home to game-changing games makers and entrepreneurs like Michael Acton Smith from Mind Candy and Ian Livingstone," she said.

"All our activity will link to online resources that will help our audiences play, learn and share, with a digital hub bringing all of this activity together. There will be off-air activity too, particularly focused on children and young people.

"We want to help people to find the fantastic resources which already exist, including learning opportunities across the UK and online. And in some cases, the very best of what they create will find its way back on to the BBC," she added.

The BBC hasn't announced much more detail than this, but it did say the new initiative will launch in early 2015.

Clare Hopping
Freelance writer

Clare is the founder of Blue Cactus Digital, a digital marketing company that helps ethical and sustainability-focused businesses grow their customer base.

Prior to becoming a marketer, Clare was a journalist, working at a range of mobile device-focused outlets including Know Your Mobile before moving into freelance life.

As a freelance writer, she drew on her expertise in mobility to write features and guides for ITPro, as well as regularly writing news stories on a wide range of topics.