Chris Coghlan, Head of Business Engagement at MK College, touches on the importance of encouraging and nurturing digital skills, but still giving them the human factor.
As part of my new end of the day wind down, last night I dusted off my 1972 Pioneer turntable went to my modest but eclectic vinyl collection ran my index finger across the spine of the record sleeves and pulled out ‘The Cure, Disintegration’, I cleaned the record with a black velvet cloth, seated it on the turntable and sat back listening to the distinct crackles and static of the vinyl experience.
Last year vinyl record sales topped 4.1 million, the highest figure since 1991, vinyl records denote an analogue experience that no unlimited music service can replicate. Vinyl music is more time consuming, more expensive (if you buy new records today), dirtier, harder to maintain, far less convenient to store and move than digital music. Yet sales are still soaring year on year as people buy the experience and full sound that the grooved black discs give the user.
We are in an age where all generations are digitalising their lives, most of it makes life easier, cleaner and adds to our productivity. Digital skills are becoming more and more important in the workplace whatever the vocation. In the UK, employers are crying out for people with the digital skills to support growth and ensure their businesses cannot just survive but thrive. When I speak to our employer Partners I’m asked about what the College is doing to ensure we are equipping their employees of the future (and current employees) with the digital skills to support their business.
The College’s digital strategy is key to ensuring students, apprentices and staff have the digital skills needed to excel at their chosen vocation. Our bid to open an Institute of Technology at Bletchley Park in 2020 (a place where the juxtaposition of analogue and digital works very nicely) will take investment in enhancing digital skills in Milton Keynes and beyond to a new level. In the midst of this digital transformation we must stay connected to the human factor, the little experiences that ignite our senses and connect us to something more powerful than any computer: the human brain and that’s why my turntable will never be retired.