It's been fantastic during this Olympic summer to experience the pride that the population has in our great country, especially after the doom and gloom of the recession and seeing our traditional industries shrinking. Here at Blueleaf, we've bucked the trend and over the last two years doubled the size of our team; and we're not the only business within the digital sector that has been recruiting, judging by the amount of activity on social media. This is wonderful news for the country and for an expanding sector of industry. Yet what we've found is that there is a massive skills shortage and that finding great developers has been a real challenge. This begs the question, are the skills (particularly around IT) being taught in our schools and universities transferable to the workplace?
If the UK has a growing industry, shouldn't we be investing in it to produce world-leading digital stars of the future? Take for example, the investment in our athletes that delivered such greatness at the Olympics.
With this in mind, over the last couple of years the digerati of the UK have taken it upon themselves to work with the education community to address the skills shortage. We're delighted to be involved with a fantastic initiative called Code Club, a nationwide network of volunteer-led after school coding clubs for children aged 9-11. Click here to learn more.
Another initiative, run by BIMA (British Interactive Media Association), links secondary schools with the digital industry. Our very own Rob Smith and Chris Jones will be helping out at this year’s event in October. Find out how to get involved here.
There are also a number of agencies around the country who have built links with their local universities. In fact Blueleaf has done just that with the University of Chester, participating in the government-funded ‘Unite With Business’ scheme. This involves working closely with the university to help their third year Computer Science undergraduates. As a result of this initiative, we have taken on our first ever apprentice web developer, Adam, and we’ll continue our partnership with the university to provide further support to students in the future.
We're proud to be a part of such a great forward-thinking industry that wants to lead the world.