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Developing Digital Talent from within

The global digital skills gap is growing. Supply of software developers and digitally skilled talent is not meeting the demand of this rapidly expanding industry. In the future, nine out of every ten jobs will require digital skills. However, as of right now, 44% of Europeans do not even possess basic digital skills. This has the potential to cost companies billions in lost revenues, and HR and L&D departments must face this dilemma. One way to approach this is by developing digital talent from within.

Developing Digital Talent - image shows lady holding a tablet, with the following text beside her, "44% of Europeans do not even possess basic digital skills."

With all of that in mind, now is a time for Learning and Development departments to shine. When you look at your existing staff, you see people and workers who understand and respect your organisation. They understand the culture and how the cogs turn. They already “fit” within your business.

In Code Institute’s recent white paper, “The Digital Skills Crisis – Time to Act”, it has been found that while many organisations do offer extra training and development opportunities, often, many employees do not find the training to be good enough. Recently we spoke to Damien Meere, Technical Training Lead of BT, and his message to us was that “it can be difficult to land staff into a course and say, we’re going to do a one-week crash course, and then expect them to run from there. That can be really difficult. We can’t expect staff to be experts after a week-long course. It’s not going to cut it”.

Code Institute’s white paper highlights a number of practical solutions that Learning and Development departments should utilise to aid in closing the skills gap.

A new strategy that focuses strongly on upskilling existing staff in IT-related subjects and fields.

First and foremost, a strategy is needed specifically for developing digital talent and technology training. This is where the skills gap is right now in most businesses. Some organisations treat learning and development as a “tick the box” exercise, this needs to stop. To upskill or reskill staff within an organisation requires appropriate training. A one-week crash course on how to manage something that is super-technical will simply end with disappointing results.

Adequate time must be given to staff to upskill. Consequently, the benefits will be clear to your staff. Also, given the opportunity, many would be willing to do some of their upskilling in their own time. After all, this is hugely beneficial for them too. If there is a fear that staff will move on after retraining, then it is time for your business to consider fresh means of retaining your talent.

Provide technology-focused graduate schemes aligned with recognised education providers.

Technology-focused graduate schemes are an excellent way of bringing new recruits to a level that will future-proof your business. By partnering with a recognised education provider, it is possible to ensure that your new employees are quickly brought up to date in digital technologies. This can be used for employees of all departments – not necessarily just IT or tech-related departments.

Reward and incentivise learning.

Code Institute’s white paper shows that most staff are willing to upskill – provided the right programmes are made available. Employees should be incentivised and rewarded for upskilling or reskilling. Methods of doing this include incentivising through a bonus scheme. Similarly, offering study days can also be beneficial. Other ways of approaching this would be to show clear career paths to staff. As a result, they will see what upskilling could potentially do for their careers.

Most companies now realise that there is a global digital skills crisis. However, without relevant actions from L&D, and other relevant departments, this talent shortage will only get worse. Therefore, now is a golden era for Learning and Development teams, and providing the right kind of training to existing staff and by developing digital talent from within is one way of easing the shortage in your own business.

Code Institute’s graduates are awarded a globally recognised Diploma in Software Development which is credit-rated by Edinburgh Napier University. Also, the programme is approved by a growing list of Government bodies in Ireland, Singapore, Sweden and North America.

Contact our partner team through the form below and see how we can help fill your company’s digital skills gap. Now is the time to act.