13 December 2016

Why do tech companies still struggle to find people with the right skills?

code club UKFast

Teaching the next generation of tech talent.

It was interesting to read earlier last week that, according to the UK Commission for Employment & Skills, 43% of STEM vacancies continue to be hard to fill, due to a shortage of applicants with the required skills and experience.

We can keep asking ourselves why this is, but I think it is clear that it is a problem that goes back to education. There were only 15,000 UK students who sat a computing or ICT A-Level this summer, which is less than 2% of the overall exams sat. It’s obvious that this by no means matches up to the growing number of jobs being created in the technology sector.

This is why I believe we have to focus on engaging the education system, from primary school kids to school leavers.

Our Code Club, like all other code clubs around the country, is a great way of getting young people enthused about coding and helping them realise the possibilities and opportunities available in IT.

Working with nearly 60,000 pupils across Greater Manchester, we’ve seen first-hand the gaps in computer science, IT and digital literacy in traditional education. There has been so much demand for our Code Clubs, that we’ve had to extend our sessions and create more dates; we’ve even started our new ‘travelling code club’ only a few weeks ago. So, if demand is not the problem, than what is?

At UKFast, we take a different approach to filing the skills gap. We are flexible and willing to invest. Once we have found a candidate with the right attitude to suit our culture, we are more than happy to help our team upgrade their skills.

Our apprenticeships offer young people a route into a career in tech that doesn’t involve going to university. They are so valuable and make such a difference to our business going forward, which is why we understand the need to invest in the development of all our lovely apprentices by providing accredited training and clear career paths.

In the end, it all comes back to the same message I have shared many times before. Digital literacy is essential across all areas of the modern workplace, not just in the technology industry. If we want the generation currently in education to be the next innovators and entrepreneurs, leaders and world-changers, we need to equip them with the essential skills. This is a goal that requires a lot of hard work and collaboration.

In my opinion, business leaders need to understand that, if they want their business to keep growing, they need to continue developing talent.

Are you worried about a lack of skills in your business?

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