SERAS is working with Research England’s Pitch-In project to identify and address skills gaps around the Internet of Things (IoT).
The growth of internet-enabled computing, digital manufacturing and the increasing interconnection via the internet of objects in our offices and homes are set to revolutionise our business and domestic lives and could lead to significant growth in productivity, employment and economic performance for the UK. As the “Made Smarter” Review and the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy white paper stress, however, such growth will only come about if the working population of the UK has the requisite skills to take advantage of the opportunities that new technologies such as IoT offer.
- Analysing and understanding the requirements for IoT training and education, broadly, but especially in contexts where robots will be deployed as part of wider IoT systems (e.g. in advanced manufacturing, healthcare, and smarthomes).
- Identifying the IoT skills needed by businesses & mapping these to IoT career-paths.
- Surveying existing provision identifying gaps, opportunities, best practices.
- Engaging across the education sector, and with the public and employers, about the challenges and opportunities to improve the UK skills base in IoT.
- Influencing UK public policy on skills and education related to IoT.
The project will build on the network and contacts already developed with respect to robotics which include multiple HRIs, across all regions of the UK, and national centres and initiatives such as the National STEM Centre, the Institute of Coding and the Royal Academy of Engineering.
Within the project, we expect to survey the IoT skills needed by UK businesses and service providers and how trainees and workers can be provided with the requisite skills to meet these needs. Emphasis will also be placed on addressing issues around diversity, encouraging more women and other under-represented groups to work in IoT and seek to acquire the requisite skills.
Sustainability is also key to the project’s potential impact in delivering skills initiatives and influencing public policy, accordingly, we will develop recommendations for a sustainable program of curriculum development and skills training. Such a programme would seek to resolve the IoT skills deficit through diverse pathways including new teaching resources and methodologies, improved professional training for educators, stronger ties between educators and employers, encouraging a “maker” philosophy of digital manufacturing and problem-solving through technology, and public engagement activities that create a demand for and promote IoT careers.