Tech business bridges digital skills gap
Businesses must take more responsibility for fostering and developing technical skills in order to attract future talent - that’s the message from technology specialist The Emerald Group, as it leads local efforts as part of a nationwide campaign to bridge the digital skills gap.
The Warwickshire Company will be opening up its doors to local school children as part of Tech Week, an innovative national programme launched by the Tech Partnership, a network of employers working collaboratively to develop and create skills for the UK’s digital economy.
Events across the country are taking place this week (July 4-8) as businesses and educational institutions, from schools to universities, work together to offer opportunities to young people aged between the ages of 10 to 19. The initiative aims to take school children outside of the learning environment and into businesses to give them the chance to gain real experience of how digital skills translate into a business environment.
The call from the Emerald Group comes at a time when new research from YouGov reports that whilst the UK’s young people are increasingly digitally savvy, almost 50 percent of senior decision makers believe school leavers do not know how to translate these skills for work purposes. Further to this, the British Chamber of Commerce has reported that just over half of businesses offer work experience opportunities, despite three quarters agreeing that hands-on experience is increasingly important in tackling skills shortages.
Tech Week is a national programme which encourages technology companies to open their doors to young people from all backgrounds to give them a taste of life at work, while simultaneously helping businesses to access and develop technology skills they need for the future.
The Emerald Group has provided placements to students from Campion School from Leamington, in addition to working alongside three local games companies comprising of, Team Lumo at Arch Creative, Playground Games, and Exient. All these businesses are hosting events throughout the week for students with the opportunity to experience first-hand life at work, and with the aim of changing young people’s perceptions of the technology industry.
Speaking about the initiative, Sarah Windrum, CEO at The Emerald Group said “The Emerald Group is excited to be taking such an active role in such an important initiative. While an increasing number of businesses agree that the digital skills gap is a growing concern, there is less cohesion in how the problem should be tackled. We believe that the most effective way to nurture talent and provide young people with the skills sought after by employers is by providing the opportunities for hands on experience, and an understanding of how digital skills can be translated into a work setting“
Lalage Clay, Head of Communications on behalf of the Tech Partnership commented: “When it comes to encouraging young people to consider further education or a career in technology, nothing is more motivating than real-life experience of the digital workplace. Tech Week is being run by, and for, employers up and down the country, enabling them to show school students directly how creative, exciting and worthwhile tech roles are. It’s great to see employers like the Emerald Group taking part: it’s an example of how businesses can work together to solve a problem that affects them all.“