Data skills drive opens with schools visit to ‘Data Town’
An event for city school pupils has marked the launch of the City Region Deal’s Data-Driven Innovation (DDI) Skills Gateway.
‘Data Town’, an interactive workshop at Pollock Halls, brought together young people from across Edinburgh to learn about life in an increasingly data-driven world.
The Data Education for Schools project, led by the University of Edinburgh’s Moray House School of Education, aims to increase the adoption of data skills in primary and secondary school curriculums.
It is one of the first activities to launch within the DDI Skills Gateway, part of the wider City Region Deal’s inclusive employment and skills drive.
The City Region Deal represents a £1.3bn partnership between the UK Government, Scottish Government, local authorities in Edinburgh, East Lothian, Fife, Midlothian, Scottish Borders, West Lothian, universities, and colleges over the next 15 years.
The DDI Skills Gateway is taking a regional approach to improving data skills across the whole population, covering schools, colleges, universities, workplaces, and citizens.
The Gateway will focus on creating opportunity for all, and help make it easier for a wider range of people to acquire the skills needed to work in tech roles.
As part of the DDI Skills proposals, Edinburgh Napier is developing a new BSc (Hons) Data Science course, embedding data science on courses in the Business School and the School of Health & Social Care, and extending ePlacement Scotland to find appropriate paid placements for data science and engineering students.
Professor Sally Smith, Dean of the School of Computing, said: “Edinburgh Napier is creating a range of courses as an essential part of the data skills pipeline, providing flexible routes to careers in tech.
“And it’s not just data scientist specialists that will be needed. We’re introducing data skills in business and nursing courses to make sure our graduates are equipped to understand and analyse the data that inevitably forms part of modern work.”
Professor Judy Robertson, academic lead for the Data Education for Schools project, said: “Organisations need workers with data skills. Jobs are evolving and more and more of us will be working alongside new and emerging technologies.
“Through the City Region Deal’s DDI Skills Gateway, learners of all ages across the city region will have the chance to begin a journey of data education.
“We want to widen opportunities for local people to work in tech roles or to be ready for this changing world of work. We are keen to increase the number of women and people with disabilities, and from diverse backgrounds, who are engaging with data.”