Industry vs Me
Digital skills gap in the United Kingdom have been there for quite some time while there is ever increasing demand for digitally skilled people. According to Tech Nation, the digital industry contributed £97 billion and employs around 1.64 million (Tech Nation, 2017). If we talk about the developer role, it hard to fill despite there are many agencies out there to help companies find the perfect candidate for them (Manchester Digital, 2017).
There were less people recruited in 2016 than in 2015 and there were majority of open vacancies for tech and digital jobs, if we just talk about the Manchester city. (Tech Nation, 2017) This clearly means that the permanent roles company are looking for are still unmatched. The bigger question here would be: why there are so many unmatched vacancies when there are still new talents out there. Is it because companies are more interested in hiring experienced worker over new talents? Or perhaps they are scared that if they hire new talents it might not be a good investment for their company or instead they are too lazy to train a new talent.
I would say if emerging talents are not given a chance how would they be professional. Every year many new talents are wasted just because they don’t get a chance to work in a professional environment and this is a huge loss to the digital industry. Since Brexit issue is still unsolved, agencies may fear to recruit non-British talents which is again a huge loss to the industry (Bridget Beale, 2016). I, as an international student think If Brexit happens it will narrow the available space further for mixed talents.
Manchester Digital audit report explains that there are more men in the technology and digital workplace than women. Doniya Soni policy manager for skills, talent and diversity at TechUK says “It is especially great to see a 34 per cent increase in the number of female students taking computing, up from a 1.3 percent increase last year. However, girls still only make up 10 per cent of those students taking the subject, so far more work needs to be done to encourage young women to look at tech.” (Doniya Soni, 2017). Which may rise to another question that are men more interested in technical roles then women? How can the industry tackle this issue?
Apprenticeships and Meetups
To overcome this issue there should be more apprenticeships for new talents. This will greatly help all those talents who are new to the digital industry. It will help in making their base of the skills pillar stronger than ever. Moreover, these apprenticeships are not just targeted to the young. “Government report shows a 56% to 44% split between apprentices under 24 and those 25 and older.” (Michael O' Flynn, 2017). It would be a huge step in making sure that the new talent is not wasted by ensuring that what they have learned in their degree so far, they can develop it further in order to compete in the industry.
Tech giants pair with schools to reduce digital skill gap @microsofteduk @MSFTScotland @GlowScot @skillsdevscot https://t.co/VOTX3ky4ug— Andy Nagle (@andyn8gle) September 7, 2017
Manchester Digital apprenticeship to help plug skill gap.https://t.co/tXIM3Gyj1p pic.twitter.com/2m4RLegVMI— Tech North (@TechNorthHQ) July 12, 2017
What do I think
Tech Nation. (2017). At The Forefront of Global Digital Innovation., 8-33.
Manchester Digital. (2017). Skills Audit Report. Digital Skills Festival., 7-13.
Bridget Beale. (2016). How the digital industry is tackling its own skills crisis. Available: http://www.thedrum.com/opinion/2016/11/18/how-the-digital-industry-tackling-its-own-skills-crisis/. Last accessed 12th November 2017.
Doniya Soni. (2017). As Tech Companies Face Digital Skills Gap, A-Level Results Welcomed by Industry. Available: http://www.techuk.org/insights/news/item/11264-as-tech-companies-face-digital-skills-gap-a-level-results-welcomed-by-industry/. Last accessed 12th November 2017.
Michael O' Flynn. (2017). How the digital marketing industry is closing the skills gap. Available: https://www.marketingtechnews.net/news/2017/may/30/how-digital-marketing-industry-closing-skills-gap/. Last accessed 12th November 2017.