Breaking down Bridges, Bridging the Gap--Could Remote Working Fix the Digital Skills Shortage? Graham Smith, Curo Talent.


In his Autumn 2017 budget, Chancellor Phillip Hammond announced the Government would invest 84 million [pounds sterling] to train new GCSE teachers for computer science. He also said the government will work with industry to create a National Computing Centre. The initiative is a great way to help close the skills gap in the IT and technology sector. However, skills are not the only problem. Here, Graham Smith, head of marketing at Microsoft recruitment partner, Curo Talent explains how remote working could close the IT skills gap.

Something that isn't talked about nearly enough is the fact that the IT sector, which, by nature, should enable remote working, hasn't moved away from the inflexible office environment. Therefore, unless IT students are already living in areas like London, Birmingham, Bristol or Edinburgh, they are usually forced to relocate to find a position where they can put their skills to use. It's time to change that.

Changing the IT workplace

Employers need to change how they think about workspaces. They should consider investing in technology such as tablets or laptops for staff to use instead of desktop computers as well as software such as Microsoft's Remote Desktop, to configure laptops to remotely access company servers. Any central office spaces should also be set out to support hot desking rather than having set workspaces for individuals.

If the industry doesn't embrace a more mobile working environment that incorporates remote working, we might still miss out on this new talent.

Future workplace for future employees

The future employee must be less confined to a strict office-based work model. The expectations of our workforce will change as Millennial and Generation Z start to outnumber the baby boomers and Generation X.

These newcomers are used to experiencing the world at the swipe of a finger, constantly on the move with mobile technology. So, we should anticipate a future workforce that is more mobile and geographically spread, making use of cloud systems, apps and wearable technology.

By creating an environment that enables employees to work at times that suit them, from wherever suits them, you automatically become more capable of meeting the needs of the 21 st Century workforce.

Millennial and Generation Z value a healthy work/life balance and by giving them the freedom to be at home when they are needed and working when they are capable of being productive, staff satisfaction will dramatically increase.


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