Tech Giants: "It’s a Struggle To Recruit UK Graduates"

With the rise of the digital age, who would have thought that there would be a shortage of technical skill within the UK among young people?

The UK’s technology trade association estimates that there are approximately 100,000 people needed to enter the digital sector and there is currently a shortage in skill set.

With employees expressing concern over freshly graduated applicants not being up to standard. The government have decided to change their focus on programming. It begs a question of why our current education system in not up to the standards of the major tech firms?

It’s been reported that technology giants such as Facebook and 02 are struggling to recruit people in the UK. In fact, they seem to be finding better-qualified people from other countries.

Director of Human Resources for 02, Ann Pickering, says:

‘ Businesses must collaborate with the Government to avoid a digital skills shortage’.

42% of companies interview by the IET (the Institute of Engineering) said that IT, technical and engineering did not meet ‘reasonable standards’. 64% said that they declined candidates because of a shortage or challenges with a specific skill. Whilst 35% said that candidates where unsuitable entirely.

Concerns have been expressed as engineering and technical skills are the main future of our economy and we don’t seem to be doing too well. Shockingly, a report from the Engineering UK shows that half of 7-11 year old view engineering as ‘boring’. They prefer what they see as more ‘glamorous careers’ such as : teaching , sports and doctors.

The attitude towards tech for current and future generations can be changed if, companies and government can show how rewarding a technology career can be. However with a lack of focus here, it looks doubtful that we will fill the gap domestically.

It seems resolve is underway, companies are setting up programs to help young people progress and develop. Still, major emphasis is still put on experience rather than theory but will this be enough?

Lesley Cowley, CEO of Nominet (the internet registry for .uk domain names) said

Apprenticeships and community engagement from tech firms is vital to delivering the skills needed to make Britain a global tech leader.”

As an example of companies do their bit; leading tech firms such as Google, Dell and Facebook back the ‘Apps for Good’ scheme. Youngsters are encouraged to design, test and make digital products. Students from Nelson Thomlinson School in Cumbria won £10,000 for their contribution to technology.

Even leading bodies such as the IET are giving out bonuses. Those who are wanting to take accredited engineering and technology UK degree courses will be eligible for £1000 a year scholarship. The idea is to encourage those on to a rewarding and prosperous path. Up to 700 students will eligible for these scholarships and with over 2,000 registering already this year, perhaps we will see the shortage in the gap close somewhat.

It could be said that UK based technology companies, have a duty to provide a fair chance for UK residents to work for them. However, it’s only natural to look elsewhere if they’re not finding people up to the task.

Continued government and third parties investment and effort in tech education is essential. While some headway is being made, considerable more action needs to take place as they obviously realise how vital this sector is to the UK economy.