Next Gen Skills appoints Talent Development Co-ordinator

By Danny Palmer
07 Feb 2013 View Comments
Academic mortarboard symbol on computer keyboard

The Next Gen Skills campaign for the introduction of computer programming in schools has announced the appointment of a Next Gen Talent Development Co-ordinator to help implement the scheme's recommendations.

Kim Blake, education liaison manager for Midlands-based computer game development studio Blitz, has been appointed to the position, which is jointly funded by Creative Skillset - the Creative Industries' Sector Skills Council - and The Association for UK Interactive Entertainment. (Ukie)

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The role involves the promotion of coding and digital art skills in schools, colleges and universities.

"I am incredibly excited to have been given the opportunity to work with Ukie and Creative Skillset on the development and promotion of next gen skills," said Blake.

"So many people are doing excellent work in this area; I'm really looking forward to working with them all to maximise awareness of the careers available, the skills needed and the opportunities that are already out there, as well as helping to foster communication between existing and new initiatives," she added.

The Next Gen Skills report was commissioned to assess the state of the UK education system when it came to teaching future generations the programming skills required to drive high-tech industries such as visual effects and video games development.

"I am delighted that Kim has joined Ukie to act as the point of contact with the education sector as part of our ongoing Next Gen Skills campaign," said Ian Livingstone CBE, co-author of the Next Gen Skills report.

Last year, Livingstone talked to Computing about the Next Gen Skills campaign and how it will benefit the IT industry as a whole.

"Code is at the heart of everything we do in the digital world in which we exist. It's not just about video games and visual effects, it's also about designing the next jet propulsion engine, or fighting cybercrime, or running financial services," he told Computing.

"Coding is essential to everything, and with traditional manufacturing in decline and financial services in disarray, if the government wants the economy to succeed, you have to empower our creative nation with the skills necessary to serve digital content to global audiences via high-speed broadband, and code is absolutely essential to that."

Blake's appointment comes on the same day Michael Gove announced a U-turn over his plan to replace GCSEs with an English Baccalaureate Certificate.

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