Success Stories

New College Lanarkshire

United Kingdom

Combating the IT Skills Gap

New College Lanarkshire supports more than 20,000 students and prides itself on an innovative approach to education, which comprises practical as well as academic learning. A member of Oracle Academy since 2006, the college teamed up with the Royal Bank of Scotland and Oracle Academy to develop a solution to one of today’s business challenges: the IT skills gap.

Photo (above) by Richard Webb, available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license 2.0.


Bringing IT Training to Education



Opportunity

The Royal Bank of Scotland and New College Lanarkshire wanted to bridge the IT skills gap to create a pool of trained software developers ready for the modern workplace.

Solution

Through the partnership with Oracle Academy, New College Lanarkshire students progress rapidly from having little or no computing knowledge to having the academic and hands-on skills needed for a rewarding career in IT.

Benefit

“Our collaboration with New College Lanarkshire and RBS really is a first,” says Jane Richardson, Director Oracle Academy EMEA. “It provides a template for how the technology sector can work together with business and academia to provide a practical solution to the skills gap challenge.”


In today’s digital world, demand for employees with IT skills is sky-rocketing, while there’s not enough supply. The European Union predicts that Europe may face a shortage of up to 900,000 IT professionals by 2020.

Taking advantage of IT education opportunities, ScotlandIS research shows that the IT and digital technologies industry has been booming in the UK.

RBS recognized that Scotland needed to expand and develop its technical teams, and has taken steps to bridge the skills gap by teaming up with New College Lanarkshire and Oracle Academy to create a pool of trained software developers ready for the modern workplace.
 

Creating an Educational Alliance

Oracle Academy and College collaboration draws together the pedagogical expertise of New College Lanarkshire, the technological expertise of Oracle, and the business understanding of RBS into curriculum elements that form part of a two-year Higher National Diploma. The diploma includes Oracle Academy modules on Java Fundamentals, Java Programming, Database Design and Programming with SQL and Programming with PL/SQL.

Students enjoy studying at New College Lanarkshire since its course content combines academic learning in key industry technologies with practical experience at an RBS data centre. This experience allows students to apply their classroom learning in a practical environment and progress rapidly from not having any computing knowledge to having the academic and hands-on skills needed for a rewarding career in IT.

One of the things at New College Lanarkshire that stands out is the university’s signature summer school program where students work in teams one day a week at RBS to create a Java-based mobile app. The project integrates project management, user interface, design, team working, agile/RAD methodology, Java programming and testing strategies.

Students not only gain the academic knowledge they need to develop technology skills but they also gain the understanding of the work involved in running a data centre built on Oracle’s industry-leading systems. In addition, they learn soft skills such as collaboration, team building and communications.

All Oracle Academy Introduction to Computer Science course materials and faculty training are accredited by the Scottish Qualifications Authority–and are provided free to accredited educational institutions. Oracle Academy courses have been mapped to the Scottish Qualifications Framework curriculum. Successful students graduate with a fully accredited Higher National Diploma and the opportunity to progress further.

Additionally, in collaboration with the Open University in the UK, the college has arranged that after successfully completing their Higher National Diploma, students have the opportunity to use the credits and knowledge they have to progress to the third year of a top-up computer science degree.

“Our collaboration with New College Lanarkshire and RBS really is a first,” says Jane Richardson, Director Oracle Academy EMEA. “It provides a template for how the technology sector can work together with business and academia to provide a practical solution to the skills gap challenge.”
 

Looking Toward the Future

In addition to its work with New College Lanarkshire, Oracle Academy is extending its program across Scotland, as well as the rest of the UK. Says Oracle Academy’s Jane Richardson, “With this model we can help ensure that there are future generations of computer scientists who graduate college with skills that are in high demand and who are capable of working with Oracle technologies, which are used pervasively in all industries.”
 


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