Watching businesses start and often fail because of their lack of knowledge in the digital sector, and therefore their lack in the ability to recruit or train a digital workforce, is one of the reasons I founded Future Skills Vision (FSV) – I knew where the gaps were, how to fill them and I genuinely wanted to make a difference.
Both local and national media are filled with stories, statistics and reports detailing the size and scale of the digital skills gap. However, at FSV – through our experience and work with our own clients – we occupy the middle ground between business and education, and believe the size and scale of the perceived gap is actually a perception, not reality.
Education providers will readily suggest they need more support from business, and businesses that of education providers. However, is continuing on this endless cycle really addressing the problem? We don’t think so. The reality is, there are thousands of talented people in the North East from diverse backgrounds that either already have the digital skills required for such roles, or are keen to break into the digital and tech sector – so why aren’t they being found and employed?
Our take on this issue is to challenge the current status quo and connect people more effectively with the right employers. Our work complements the other fantastic initiatives in the region, and by working together, we’re already making a significant difference in supporting businesses, allowing them access to the talent they need, at the right time.
Doing things differently
At FSV, we support and encourage businesses to think differently about skills demands, working on their behalf to ensure they can blend all types of roles and recruitment effectively, including apprenticeships and graduates, as well as experienced hires – ensuring they have an effective internal pipeline of talent to tap into. We work differently, create new opportunities and support businesses to set them apart from others in their industry.
Practicing what we preach
We consistently apply this innovative approach to skills and talent, to our own successful business growth and recruitment strategy. We actively seek out and employ apprentices, graduates and interns with digital and tech skills, and also provide work experience opportunities to really drive growth and innovation within the team. We have seen great success within the North East and are now considering other potential markets, including the North West, Scotland and Ireland.
Starting a business isn’t easy, and growing it is even harder which is why it’s so important to be different, stand for something, live and breathe it and really believe in what you’re doing.
I’m proud to say our team has doubled in size over the last six months and we’re now looking to expand into other regions during 2018. With more than 50 clients in the North East from SMEs to corporates and education providers, we are now on a mission to provide the rest of the UK with the same level of support by scaling up our operations nationally. To help us achieve this we’re currently recruiting in Leeds, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Newcastle and Sheffield – and will be looking for the best local talent within each city. As with the businesses we support, finding and recruiting the right people is critical to our success.