Re: @Trevor_Pott There is no skills shortage
I read the article. I also read the bit where apparently we're supposed to 'train up the proles' because 'there's a perpetual skills shortage in tech'. Both ideas are bullshit.
First, there is no skill shortage in tech. There's just a lack of companies willing to actually pay a living wage. They whine and cry and carry on about how expensive nerds are and could they please, please, please import some cheap labour.
Secondly, if you train up the proles to fill this non-existent skills shortage what you're going to do is create massive downwards wage pressure on a sector that already isn't paying well enough. It sucks that everyone else has shit or no jobs, but flooding them all into tech is just going to destroy the economic benefits of tech, it isn't going to help the downtrodden at all.
This creates another problem: training people to do tech is expensive and time consuming. It has a cost. If you drive the wages for tech workers into the ground then who is going to want to spend their own money on this?
That means that people choosing tech as a career because it is what they love (and hence are willing to pay for the education themselves) basically evaporate. In relatively short order you can only get bodies into the now-prole-class-wages tech sector by spending muchos government wonga on training up people from other failed sectors, and that stops delivering a return on investment fairly quickly.
Look, I am not remotely against spending money training the proles up so that they can (hopefully) get better jobs. I just don't believe tech is the sector to target. Wage pressures in tech are already downwards and both political and economic forces are aligned to increase that downward pressure. Worse, tech doesn't tend to benefit the actual economy all that much, unless you happen to be the US of A.
No, if you want to train up the proles and jumpstart the economy Look for post-tech sectors. Specifically I am thinking here nanotechnology, genetics, applied biology and robotics. These fields need massive amounts of technicians and there are never enough available.
What's more, the UK, Canada or any non-US location has a very real shot at creating centers of excellence. If we start now, we could end up with a trained workforce large enough and with an early enough head start on what promise to be the next economic sectors driving the global economy that the Americans don't get to sit on the top of the mountain.
Tech is dead. We are well down the path towards industrializing code development, automating systems administration and otherwise reducing the need for bodies, even as we are churning more of them out of educational facilities than are needed. Don't doom the proles to spend the rest of their careers in another mediocre, failed/failing sector. Give them a real chance by pointing them in the direction of the next big thing.