This week marks the 4th annual National Coding Week – an event across the UK set up to inspire adults and the older generation to develop their digital knowledge and learn coding skills.
Coding has evolved from a highly-technical, niche skill to a mainstream language that children as young as five are learning about in school. As the demand for jobs requiring these skills diversifies beyond strictly IT-based roles, it is vital that all generations – both the current and future workforce - are provided with the right education to learn these skills.
Coding skills are already in high demand. The government estimates that digital skills will be needed for 90 per cent of jobs in 20 years’ time.
Martin Ewings, Director of Specialist Markets, Experis warns, however, "that industry can’t wait for the younger generation to bring these skills into the market and fill the UK’s digital skills gap. More needs to be done now – and it is possible. The older workforce is one of the most important sources of talent that organisations should be tapping into. That’s why National Coding Week is so important – to inspire adults to learn digital skills and encourage businesses to engage with that effort.2
He adds; "Older workers, who are staying in jobs for much longer than they would have done previously, are a “hidden talent pool” that have adaptable legacy knowledge and the aptitude to learn new skills to help them in the current digital age. Given the pace of change, skills learnt today by anyone can become redundant very quickly, regardless of age. Therefore, this is an opportunity to compete on a level playing field. What these older workers do bring to a fledgling organisation is knowledge and experience of how businesses operate as well as a raft of other transferable skills.
"If National Coding Week can inspire the older workforce to develop their digital knowledge and coding skills, UK organisations can bulk up their talent and help tackle the digital skills crisis now, instead of depending on future generations. Upskilling these workers will help leaders achieve long-term organisational growth while also keeping their top talent energised and engaged."