At the event, Sarah Windrum stated: ‘Our first experience of the digital skills challenge came in 2014 when we won a large contract and had to double overnight. We could not find people who had the right attitude, were business aware, and technically trained ready to hit the ground running. We had to invest time, money, and energy in up-skilling people and this had a direct effect on our business growth and productivity.’
In addition to providing the voice of The Emerald Group to the Party Conference, Sarah Windrum was also speaking on behalf of Tech UK, a membership organisation representing technology businesses across the UK. A recent paper from Tech UK called for the development of a comprehensive map of the digital skills pipeline, stressing that the UK is currently not doing enough to bridge this gap.
The recent launch of the new Careers and Enterprise Company has been a major step forward in uniting businesses and education. The employer led programme is independent of government and designed to take a lead role in transforming the provision of careers, enterprise and employer engagement experiences.
For Emerald Group CEO, Sarah Windrum, the trick is finding young people with the right enthusiasm and attitude to succeed in a career in digital, and teaching them the necessary skills through the workplace. But, her message is that more must be done to excite people about technology and digital from a young age in order to instil this passion and enthusiasm.
Sarah Windrum added: ‘The recently introduced Computing Curriculum is a great step towards finding a solution for the digital skills gap, but we need to make sure that teachers have the resources they require and that parents are engaged with these skills as having a direct benefit to their children’s futures.’