The introduction of ‘tech levels’ to the UK school curriculum could help to slow down, or even halt, the ongoing skills shortage in the technology arena, according to ReThink Recruitment.The tech-focused alternatives to A-Levels, which will be offered to 16-19 year old pupils and are the equivalent of 280 UCAS points, mean that students can choose between further education and employment upon completion. The programme has also been backed by a number of major employers including Microsoft, Siemens and Toshiba and crucially has been designed to equip individuals with the skills and knowledge needed for today’s IT arena.

Michael Bennett, managing director of ReThink Recruitment, said: “The introduction of these courses is extremely encouraging and could make a real difference when it comes to getting youngsters into technology careers. The sector suffers from well-documented skills shortages and currently we simply don’t produce enough specialists to meet the demand, which is only going to increase. Current IT and technology qualifications aren’t right for the modern market and many individuals aren’t leaving formal education with the right employability skills that will help them to land a job, so the launch of these courses is a very good move.”

“We do, however, need to ensure that the qualifications are kept relevant and accurately reflect the skills required in the market. The rate of change in the sector is phenomenal and it’s a far cry from what it was as recently as five years ago. If courses aren’t regularly reviewed, they could become outdated. This is why it’s particularly interesting to see the introduction of a cybersecurity tech level from next year, as we’re seeing considerable demand for these experts at the moment.”