Under the themes of careers strategy, digital poverty and labour market information, the report 'Transition to Ambition: Navigating the careers maze' offers solutions to help close the UK’s technical skills gap, and chimes with Jisc’s own research and objectives.
Skills commissioner, Robin Ghurbhurun, MD of FE and skills for Jisc, particularly welcomes the recommendation on digital poverty, urging government to work with telecommunications companies to enforce the zero rating of educational and careers resources on mobile data. This is something Jisc continues to campaign for since the pandemic.
In addition, the report says:
“We must now ramp up from our Covid-19 approach to ensure that no one is excluded from online education, training, work, or careers advice.
“Government should also consider bringing together the telecoms, public and education sector to identify ways of enabling broader digital connectivity across the UK, such as the proliferation of existing federated roaming networks.”
Jisc’s is working hard to this end by asking local authorities to add its education-specific roaming service, eduroam, to its sister service for the public sector, govroam. This would increase the range of public places where students, researchers and academic staff can access eduroam.
From a higher education perspective, the report recognises the dampening effect of COVID-19 on the graduate labour market and points out that:
“For those businesses who do take on graduates, there is a responsibility to think carefully about the increased support their new employees will need as a result of remote working."
As Jisc’s executive director for student service, Jayne Rowley, says in the report:
“Employers should be advised and supported to put measures in place for the care of new graduate recruits who may well be working remotely. We should not underestimate the impact of the loss of social contact in a work environment on new recruits in their first job.”
Commenting on the report, Ghurbhurun, says:
“Further education and skills providers are front and centre in the government’s drive to close the technical skills gap. Having the right careers advice and support in place for people of all ages is key to achieving this. It’s also important for a seamless join-up between learners and employers, and it’s right that pressure is brought to bear on the government to renew its careers strategy.”
About the Skills Commission
Cross-party think-tank, Policy Connect’s education and skills team run the Skills Commission. The commission brings together parliamentarians, leading figures from across the FE and skills sector, academics and employers to undertake high-level research into FE and skills policy, making recommendations to government, the sector and industries.