Monday, 3 September 2007

Education, education, education.....

I have been thinking about the new re-jig in the UK governments education departments, and if the new arrangements will really help the UK retain a top place in the global economy - and there are links to implementing ECM and information management.

The new structures in UK Government see secondary education seperated from HE and FE, and indeed we now have a Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills. Which to me looks like a good grouping. However an ongoing debate here, and no doubt in other nations too, is that over what gets taught in University computing and IT degree's courses, whether its relevant to 'industry' and what role graduate trainee's take within the organisation. Personally I think a lot of the problem is down to short term outlooks from big company's. Whilst many of the major players will have graduate programme's, ever since I have been in the IT space, job adverts have always stiuplated "at least 2 years experience" - there have been letters to the editors of Computing and Computer Weekly bemoaning this fact and whistfully asking where one is supposed to gain this experience for at least 10 to 12 years ! So, I wonder if the DIUS will be able to take a role, alongside bodies like the UK's 'sector skills council's' and the British Computer Society, in dispelling the 'rumour' of a skills crises, by engaging in a dialogue with business, who might find that if they drop the requirement for six of the latest programming languages, they might find a wealth of experienced candidates willing to be trained (and god forbid, but some of them will be over 40......!)

Where does this fit in with ECM ? Well we have always taken the view at the OU that training and education need to be taken very seriously, and we have been able to secure the funding to provide 3 specific training staff, to create bespoke eLearning materials, and to send many techies on the vendors own training programmes. However the new AIIM Information Organisation and Access (IOA) training programme, led me to email budget holding colleagues in many departments suggesting who would benefit from the IOA training, including developers, information management professionals, and those in the computing service who look after the search engine, plus some project managers. The similiarity with education at the national level and the comments above, is that in many organisations, IOA will not be seen holistically as part of the bigger picture, and there could well be a feeling of "we don't need to know that, its not our job". But when information is now the life blood of the enterprise, is that a realistic proposition ???

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