</The Observatory>

The Digital Skills Observatory: A forward-looking research community developing an outstanding evidence base of knowledge and best practice for digital skills needs and training. 

Fiona MacGill and Gabby Davies joined the IoC team at the University of Bath at the end of January 2019 as Research Fellows, tasked with establishing and developing the Observatory.

The Vision

To embed a culture of continual horizon scanning, monitoring and evaluation to ensure that digital skills training keeps pace with technological advancements and industry needs now and in the future by:

  • Collating current and future research on digital skills and establishing a centralised repository of evidence.
  • Undertaking primary research with industry, educators and learners to better understand their requirements and to promote increased lines of communication.
  • Exploring ways of making digital skills training and employment more diverse and inclusive.

How will we achieve this?

By creating an inclusive and collaborative Observatory research network of academic and industry partners, harnessing the wealth of knowledge and expertise across the consortium and beyond to capture, synthesise and build on this growing body of intelligence.

The scope

Developing our understanding of the digital skills gap

  • Mapping knowledge of supply and demand to enable a strategic assessment of the overall picture, clarifying contribution to knowledge so far and identifying where understanding is lacking or incomplete.
  • Within this, capturing understanding of barriers to inclusion and diversity in digital skills training and employment and ways to overcome these.
  • Prioritising specific questions, problems and potentially illuminating perspectives for further investigation through focused primary research projects.

Horizon scanning

  • Keeping abreast of developments in digital technology and the tech sector in order to anticipate future industry needs and implications for digital skills teaching.
  • Extending our horizon outwards from digital skills to draw on learning from elsewhere regarding skills training, widening participation and graduate employability and employment.

Monitoring and evaluating

  • Developing a robust and joined up strategy for measuring the impact of IoC activities

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