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Bridging the Digital Skills Gap

At the CogX Festival, Ben Litvinoff, Head of Technology and Growth Recruitment, alongside thought leaders from leading companies, discuss the solutions available to help bridge the digital skills gap.

Tell us about what you’re seeing in the broader talent market. Which skills are more in demand and where are you seeing supply constraints?

Looking at the wider market, it does appear to be shifting considerably. From late 2020 to earlier this year, it was very hard for enterprises to hire talent due to an increase in scaling businesses with lots of funding, which effectively led to over-hiring. Businesses of all sizes are now experiencing mass redundancies to even out the market which means the projections for the next 18 months to 2 years are that enterprises will start hiring more strategically.

Strategy will include the introduction of entry-level roles, internships and ensuring diversity which will aid with a good retention rate of employees. Retention is not only done with competitive salary, but with EVP as well as learning and development accelerators such as three-month boot camps on front end development and UX which have proven to be very successful. A good L&D budget is essential for this as well as calculated strategies for the right training for those of different backgrounds and skillsets to successfully transition into digital roles.

These approaches can also be implemented within the education system as Australia did for the 2000 Olympic Games, they analysed childrens’ skillsets by competency and used this to determine which sports they would be best suited to. By doing this and homing in on skills as early as possible, these future employees can have the most specific and invaluable level of expertise for when the market needs them most.

How do think scientific research and breakthroughs are likely to affect the industry in the next 10 years?

The structure of teams is likely to change. Roles will be more skills focused, leading to dedicated ‘squads’ as opposed to hierarchical job titles to allow people to transition into roles and play to their strengths. This will assist with retaining employees by working to peoples’ strengths.

This concept is no different to many other industries where you must look at technologies to make sure there is a platform within job roles for these skillsets and therefore making sure a tangible impact can happen.

What could each of us do to bridge the skills gap and take further digital skills into our organisations?

There is a massive challenge in secondary school education around recognising where and how to bridge the technical skills gap. The solution would be to have a sound mentoring system in place where role models from business ecosystems work in secondary-schools, or even primary-schools, to help to make students keen to pursue tech career paths. There are no short-term solutions for long-term payoffs, so being excellent role-models for the next generation is extremely important. 

Access the full recording of the CogX Bridging the Digital Skills gap panel session here.


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