Grow your own tech talent

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The tech talent shortage is everybody’s problem.

We are in an era where businesses are constantly fighting for talent in the digital technology space. Companies across the UK are investing significantly in digital technologies in order to transform their businesses. However, without ensuring that teams have the right experience, knowledge and abilities to make the most of these technologies, these investments will prove worthless.

There is a drastic shortage of candidates to fill the growing number of digital vacancies across UK businesses; many job openings will eventually be filled by employees moving from one company to another, moving talent from one organisation to another rather than resolving the skills shortage.

Finding employees with tech talent can be difficult, especially as the European workforce ages and technology companies nab the best graduates with digital skills. Businesses are struggling to find and retain talent in technology, specifically when it comes to coding, data science, network engineering, cloud and cyber security skills.

So how can companies address the digital skills gap?

Many organisations are taking a ‘grow your own’ approach to digital talent.

For example, Marks & Spencer is maximising the use of the apprenticeship levy by creating a data skills academy with aims to turn staff from every function into data scientists able to make the retailer more digitally savvy. The need for digital skills is a particular concern of the retail market, where high street chains have been rocked by the convenience offered online with delivery from giants such as Amazon and ASOS. M&S will upskill its staff with a data analytics qualification accredited by the British Computer Society funded by the apprenticeship levy.

Virgin Media is another British company leading the way in terms of on the job training to develop its digital skills. Last year, Virgin Media launched its part time apprenticeship scheme to make it easier for its staff to train on the job and help develop the digital skills it needed.

Take tech talent seriously

Investing in apprentices is a reliable way to futureproof a business: providing the requisite skills, know-how and motivation to succeed, they also provide the chance to cherry-pick the best upcoming talent.

The potential for growth for ‘on the job’ training allows employees to continuously develop their skills and be inspired by the pioneering technology around them. No matter the age of the employee, if they are eager and hungry to learn new skills, the opportunity to learn and keep learning is tremendous.

Businesses play a vital role in bridging the digital skills gap. Constantly encouraging and inspiring your workforce to keep them moving with the development of technology will allow your company to make a strong digital mark. Take your tech talent seriously, and watch your business thrive.

For more information visit gloscol.ac.uk/grow-your-own, or contact the Gloucestershire College Business Hub on 01452 563400 or business.hub@gloscol.ac.uk