The role of the IT Director is changing. Having fought for years to gain a seat on the board, with mixed success, the inevitable shift of IT infrastructure to the cloud finally presents the IT Director with a chance to fundamentally change the role and deliver true strategic innovation. Removing the routine tasks of day to day infrastructure administration and planning for server/networking refresh releases the IT Director to focus on the real areas of technology innovation that can support business growth.
Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) comprise the ‘engine room’ of the UK’s business economy. Figures from the Department of Business Skills and Innovation underline their importance and reveal that SMBs make up 99% of all businesses and account for 59% of all private sector employment and 49% of all private sector turnover, so there’s nothing ‘small’ about their role in contributing to the economic recovery.
Recent economic forecasts have predicted that the economic recovery we saw in the latter half of 2013 will continue at a steady pace*. Those companies that move quickly to take advantage of this prediction will be able to get ahead of their competitors as we progress further into a more economically stable period.
Recruiting can sometimes be a time-consuming process, but it needn’t be complicated. For any SME, it is crucial to find someone who can do the job and contribute positively to your business. Sourcing staff with relevant qualifications and training could be a valuable addition to your recruitment strategy. Recruiting candidates that have undertaken Pre-Employment training (PET) is an avenue worth considering, in order to attract this wider talent.
A shortage of talent and immigration legislation is being blamed for squashing technology growth in London. In a survey of start-ups and growing businesses, respondents reported having an average of seven vacancies they were struggling to fill. Despite the UK government’s support of projects such as Tech City, qualified technology specialists are in short supply in the UK. A recent survey from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) found that in the UK, IT and computing grew from being the second most in-demand skills area to the first. This isn’t the only survey to highlight the disparity between industry growth and the available workforce.
When unemployment figures are high, it seems that the worst affected are 16-24 year olds. The economic crisis has given us, amongst other things, the word NEET – young people Not in Education, Employment or Training — and it is they who have borne the brunt of the downturn. Labelling young people as anything is rarely positive so let us dispense with our pre-conceived ideas about youth and ask whether they are being served well enough by our education system to allow them to take their place in society.
UK businesses are under more pressure than ever. With restricted resource, more competition and quickly-shifting markets, a highly trained and adaptable workforce can be the key to success.
UK businesses are looking much more closely at what specific skills they need from employees, and aren’t necessarily finding it among the current employment pool.
The business community is currently crying out for more work-relevant educated staff. Leading individuals from the business community have spoken out to highlight the stubborn shortage of skills in the UK which are needed to remain competitive and fuel long-term growth.
Prithvi Shergill, chief human resources officer at HCL Technologies, explains what is necessary to tackle future challenges.
As a country we are more educated than ever. The government has more or less made good on Labour’s promise that half of all school leavers should go to university. It’s an educational embarrassment of riches, on the face of it.
But that’s only half the story, of course. And if you are putting together a crack team for your business, you may well not agree.