The UK's digital economy continues to outstrip the wider, traditional UK economy. Whether through an increase in digital disruption and innovation, or driven by the growth in customer facing digital services and applications, there are many factors driving the digital economy.
This demand enables the creation of exciting new businesses, all with a focus on delivering new customer experiences through the innovative use of technology.
Whilst customers and the wider economy benefit, companies themselves need to grapple with the challenges this growth creates. One of the most pressing issues is maintaining a constant stream of highly skilled technicians, consultants and developers to maintain that growth.
As a result, the IT skills gap in the UK continues to widen, and given the events of the past few weeks, uncertainty surrounding the UK's position in Europe may discourage companies from turning to talent from further afield.
So what can be done?
Earlier this week Forfusion had another successful Trainee graduate from our Trainee Development Program (TDP), this is the second graduate we've had come through the program in the past couple of months, and I'm pleased to say they have exceeded our expectations and are a great example of the young talent that's out there in our region.
To ensure these individuals have the right environment in which they can fully develop their skills, requires a lot of effort from the wider Forfusion team, and it's been well worth it.
By creating a flexible program of work experience, structured learning, mentoring and assessment, we believe we've created a balanced environment in which the trainees can flourish. The program allows trainees to play to their strengths whilst also focusing on areas which require improvement, developing these through on-line learning, and most importantly mentoring.
Assigning each trainee, a Senior Engineer or Consultant as mentor for the duration of the program, is one of the major reasons for its success. I have been pleasantly surprised by the feedback from both trainees and mentors alike.
From a trainee’s perspective not only does it allow the trainees a more informal way of learning, but they also benefit from the many years of experience each mentor possesses. From a mentor’s perspective it also aids their development and helps them develop soft skills, and also keep on top of core skills which may be at risk of becoming stale if they were solely focussed on delivering solutions day in, day out.
What next for Forfusion and TDP?
Given its success, the program is here to stay. We're currently hosting a number of school leavers on work experience over the summer on the lookout for the best local talent who will be the next TDP entrants. We're also looking at how the program can be improved and whether it can be integrated it with the Government sponsored Apprentice scheme, which will hopefully bring additional benefits and expand our reach across the North East talent pool.
It's in all our interests to ensure the next generation of budding developers and engineers do not have to look outside the region to realise their potential.
If you're interested in applying for Forfusion's TDP, please get in touch in the form below.